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A Guide to Gracious Living 

To Dr. Edwin George Langrock, wise counselor and kind friend 

As this is an etiquette book for all Americans, I 
have for the sake of interest used a wide variety 
of names. If any of these happen to belong to 
real people, living or dead, it is sheer coincidence. 

A. V. 






COPYRIGHT , 1952, 1954, 1955, 1956, BY AMY VANDERBILT 


Designed by Diana Klemin 


Who needs a book of etiquette? Everyone does. The simplest family, if it 
hopes to move just a little into a wider world, needs to know at least the 
elementary rules. Even the most sophisticated man or woman used to a great 
variety of social demands cannot hope to remember every single aspect of 
etiquette applying to even one possible social contingency. The human 
mind is so constructed that even if a person were to read through a book 
such as this from cover to cover he could retain only that information that 
had interest for him at the time of reading. Consciously, at least, the rest 
would be discarded as irrelevant to his way of life. But let some new way of 
living open up for him a move from city to country, a trip to a new part of 
the world and his etiquette book becomes his reference book, ready to 
piece out his own store of information. 

You might imagine that the writer of an etiquette book would certainly 
know everything in it and therefore have no need for it as reference or 
guide. But even this is not the case. After ten years as an etiquette adviser, 
four years of writing this book four years of interviewing dozens of authori- 
ties in their own fields for material to be incorporated here I, too, can re- 
member only those details that have or have had relevance to my own way 
of living. If you asked me, for example, some detail of a wedding in a faith 
other than my own, I might have to refer to my own book. The information 
is here the result of my research but in the writing of such sections I made 
no attempt to memorize all these details. However, in this book, I, like you, 
have such information in simple, complete form all in one place, and it can 
be readily found if needed. 

The word "etiquette" for all the things I have tried to discuss is really in, 
adequate, yet no other will do. It covers much more than "manners," the 
way in which we do things. It is considerably more than a treatise on a code 
of social behavior, although all the traditional information still of value has, 
I feel, been included in a way that is simple and concise, shorn of mumbo- 
jumbo and clearly learnable. For we must all learn the socially acceptable 
ways of living with others in no matter what society we move. Even in 
primitive societies there are such rules, some of them as complex and inex- 
plicable as many of our own. Their original raison &&tre or purpose is lost, 
but their acceptance is still unquestioned. 

Change in etiquette usually conies slowly, just as changes come slowly in 
the dictionary. The analogy applies, too, in that it is not necessarily social 
leaders who bring about such changes, but rather the people themselves 
who, through slighting certain forms for a long enough period, finally bring 
about their abolishment or at least their modification. 

Inventions, wars, political upheavals, legislation, all, of course, have reper- 
cussions, sometimes immediate, in the field of etiquette. In certain Moslem 
countries purdah, the centuries-old veiling of women in public, was abol- 
ished by law overnight. Think of the social adjustment that was required! 
What had been rigorous social custom now became illegal. 

Etiquette, too, is obviously geographically influenced. In cities thousands 
of families live under one roof, yet most never speak to one another on 
meeting. In the country not to speak to one's neighbor on encountering him 
would be very rude. In some parts of the South girls are quite accustomed to 
young men asking for late dates, a date usually with an old beau following 
one that may end at about eleven. Elsewhere such behavior might be con- 
sidered questionable. 

In young countries and ours is certainly one when you think in terms of 
Paris's two thousand years etiquette books have an important place. The 
physical and economic changes the country undergoes inevitably bring about 
fairly rapid social changes. The people who first come to virgin country 
usually arrive as workers, for every hand is needed, living facilities are at a 
premium, and there is little if any of the leisure or money necessary for the 
immediate development of an aristocracy. That is why all old American 
families such as mine have strong and simple roots here. Some of them may 
have brought with them the drawing-room manners of older civilizations, 
but they found that many of the niceties of living required adaptation or 
else had to be discarded in this vigorous, busy young land. 

My great-great-grandfather, who "read law," was one of the founders of 
the Bank of Manhattan Company and a man of parts, as they used to say in 
those days. But in the tradition of his father and grandfather, Hollanders 
both, he was manually proficient and he had a proper respect for whatever 
work he did. He seems to have owned a number of "shoe manufactories," 
and I do not doubt that he could apply a sole with the same expertness that 
he used in some of the fine mahogany furniture he made for his family and 
which I still use. On the facing page is his advertisement in the Diary; or 
Evening Register of Wednesday, April 9, 1794. 

My own line of descent from the first Vanderbilt to settle in America Jan 
Aoertsen van der Bilt, who had a farm near Flatbush, Long Island has 
been strongly Dutch, but I have a good admixture of Irish, English, and 
French blood. That and my partly European education, my fairly extensive 
traveling here and abroad, my years as a writer, as an etiquette adviser, and 
in business have given me a flexible attitude toward etiquette which is re- 
flected, I am sure, in everything I have written on the subject. 

I have a respect for people who do things with their brains and with their 
hands, who are not afraid of hard physical and mental work. I respect, too, 

WEDNESDAY, Apaa 9, 1794. 


At his Boot and Shoe Manufactory No. 7, the cor- 
ner of Smith and Princefs-Streets, 

TAKES this method, to return his 
thanks to his cuftomers, for their generous 
encouragement in the line of his bufinefs, and hopes 
by his fteady attention and abilities to ferve, to me- 
rit the fame. He has lately discovered a method, 
which effectually prevents the prevailing evils fo 
common in the prefent mode of making boots 
which are thefe, the folding or running down be- 
hind and breaking above the counter and in the 
tongue, which frequently caufes almoft new boots 
not only to look bad, by caufing pieces to be put in 
them, but by running down wears very uncomfort- 
ably He continues to make, and has for fale, the 
following articles, wholefale and retail, viz. 

. x. d. 
Fimfhed boots of Englifh fluff - 300 
Do. tanned, brain and oil drefled buck ikin 

legs . - - . . -300 
Do. American calf fkin, or cordiwan legs z 16 o 
Second quality do. do. -do. 2 to o 

Stout frrongboot* . . 2 4 o 

Bootees of Englifh legs 2 5 o 

Do. of American do 1 18 o 

people who are unpretentious yet mannerly, considerate and honest, forth- 
right yet kind and tactful. I dislike display and foolish expenditure in the 
sense of what Veblen called "conspicuous waste," that is, spending to im- 
press those who have less, as well as to impress associates. I dislike chi-chi. 
I believe that knowledge of the rules of living in our society makes us 
more comfortable even though our particular circumstances may permit us 
to elide them somewhat. Some of the rudest and most objectionable people 
I have ever known have been technically the most "correct." Some of the 
warmest, most lovable, have had little more than an innate feeling of what 
is right toward others. But, at the same time, they have had the intelligence 
to inform themselves, as necessary, on the rules of social intercourse as re- 
lated to their own experiences. Only a great fool or a great genius is likely 
to flout all social grace with impunity, and neither one, doing so, makes the 
most comfortable companion. 

It is my hope that this book answers as fully and simply as possible all the 
major questions of etiquette and most of the minor ones too. It is the largest 
and most complete book of etiquette ever written. Like a dictionary, it will 
have few cover-to-cover readers aside from my meticulous editor, Marion 
Patton, the copy editors, and the proofreaders. But this undoubted fact does 
not in the least disturb me, for a reference book such as this has a long and 
much-thumbed existence. It can become a reliable friend to whom one may 
turn many a questioning glance over the years and get a helpful answer. It 
can put down roots and become an integral part of the family, even be an 
objective counselor to the children as they enter their teens. 

It is axiomatic that as we mature and grow in years and experience we 
must be able to meet more demanding social situations with confidence and 
ease. This book contains, I believe, explicit information on every possible 
social problem one is likely to encounter in modern social living. 

Amy Vanderbilt 




Over a period of four years, during the writing of this book, many personal 
friends have assisted me in my research. Parts of the manuscript traveled 
back and forth across the ocean several times. Experts of various kinds ad- 
vised me and in numerous cases edited my material. I have sought every 
possible authoritative source in an effort to make this a truly complete and 
accurate book of etiquette, useful in every phase of contemporary life. 

Among those individuals, organizations, institutions, and governments 
whose assistance I have had to a greater or lesser extent are: Eleanor Roose- 
velt; the United States Department of State; the United States Military 
Academy, West Point; the United States Naval Academy, Annapolis; the 
Department of Defense; Captain J. F. Donovan, Jr., U.S.N. Ret.; Head- 
quarters First Army; Captain Joseph W. Golinkin, U.S.N.R.; Colonel Henry 
T. Blair, U.S.A.R.; the British Information Services; the French Embassy; 
the Netherlands Embassy; the Hon. E. C. Zimmerman, former Netherlands 
Minister to the Netherlands Indies; Mr. Onno Leebaert of the Netherlands 
National Tourist Office; the Mexican Embassy; Dr. Carlos Davila, former 
President of and Ambassador from Chile, member of the Social and Eco- 
nomic Council of the United Nations, and author of We the Americas; 
Mr. Harold P. Borer, General Manager in the United States for Cunard 
Steamship Company, Limited; the Pan American World Airways; M. 
Maurice Dekobra, Paris; Mr. Ulrich Calvosa, Spanish State Tourist Bureau; 
the Metropolitan Opera Association; the University of the State of New 
York; Professor Gilbert H. Doane, Director of Libraries, University of Wis- 
consin, and author of the book on genealogy, Searching for Your Ancestors; 
Mr. Donald C. Vaughan, who while an executive of Brooks Brothers fur- 
nished me with much of the material on men's clothes and later, after his 
retirement, edited the chapter for me; various members of the Overseas Press 
Club, including Mr. Frank Handy, Mr. Thomas B. Morgan, Mr. Edward P. 
Morgan, Mr. J. P. McEvoy, and Mr. Eugene Lyons; Senhor Vasco Pinto Basto 
of Lisbon, Portugal; Mr. I. P. Van Dyke of the Hotel Astor; Mr. Edward F. 
McSweeney; Sidonie M. Gruenberg, Special Consultant for the Child Study 
Association of America; Mr. T. Spencer Knight, President, Empire Crafts 
Corporation, Newark, New York; Mr. Homer N. Calver, President, Paper 
Cup & Container Corp., New York; the late Mr. Alexander Efron, founder of 

Checkmaster System, Inc., New York; Mr. Roger Main, President and 
Treasurer, West Side Savings Bank, New York; Mr. Harland Torrey, West- 
port Bank and Trust Company, Westport, Conn.; B. Harris and Sons, New 
York, jewelers; Carrier, Inc., New York; Tiffany & Co., New York; Aber- 
crombie & Fitch Co., New York; Steuben Glass, New York; Dempsey & 
Carroll, Inc., New York; Max Schling, Inc., New York; John M. Weyer, 
President, Van Loan & Co., New York; Bellows' Gourmet's Bazaar, New 
York; Countess Gosta Morner; the Maine Development Commission; and the 
following attorneys for their help with material touching on or concerning 
legal matters: Norman Schur, Gustave Simons, Philip Wittenberg, Edna 
Neumann Whittle, and the Honorable J. Allen O'Connor, Jr. 

I am indebted to Dr. Richard L. Frank, Clinical Professor of Psychiatry 
and Psychoanalytic Medicine at State University College of Medicine at 
New York, for his help, advice, and editorial suggestions especially concern- 
ing the chapters on children and family life; also to Dr. Herbert F. Newman, 
Associate Professor of Clinical Surgery, New York University School of 
Medicine; Vincent M. Keber, D.D.S., New York, and the American Nurses 

Mr. Lawton Mackall, expert on wines, assisted me to a great extent in the 
preparation of the chapter on wines. 

The Reverend W. Ovid Kinsolving, Priest-in-Charge, St. Andrew's and St. 
Michael's Episcopal churches, Bridgeport, Conn., was of immeasurable aid 
in the preparation of the material on weddings, christenings, funerals, reli- 
gious beliefs and the proper address of the clergy. The Reverend Edward N. 
West, D.D., Canon Sacrist of the Cathedral of St. John the Divine, New 
York, prepared the material on the correct forms of address of the Protestant 
Episcopal clergy, and the Reverend George Papadeas of the Hellenic 
Cathedral, Holy Trinity, New York, assisted me with information on the 
Greek Catholics. Princess Serge Troubetzkoy and Mrs. David H. Low were 
of help in giving me information on Eastern Orthodox religious customs. 
Rabbi Samuel Schwartz of Congregation Beth El, Norwalk, Conn., Rabbi 
Martin Ryback, Washington Avenue Temple, Evansville, Ind., and Rabbi 
Philip Alstat of the Jewish Theological Seminary, New York, assisted me in 
the matter of Jewish customs and clerical forms of address. The Presiding 
Bishop, Le Grand Richards, of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day 
Saints, Salt Lake City, Utah, supplied information on the Mormons. P. J. 
Kenedy Sons, publishers of the official Catholic Directory, supplied all the 
material on the proper forms of address for the Catholic clergy, and I had 
the assistance of Catholic friends and two Catholic priests on Catholic 
marriage, christening, and funeral customs. I am indebted to the Society of 
Friends for information on Quaker ceremonies and customs. The Christian 
Science Committee on Publication for Connecticut checked the references to 
Christian Science. Mr. F. D. Connell, Sexton of St. Thomas Church, New 
York, gave me information on Protestant Episcopal church ceremonies. The 
Reverend Harold Edgar Martin of the First Congregational Church, Nor- 
walk, Conn., the Reverend E. C. Wenzel, of St. Peter's Evangelical Lutheran 


Church, South Norwalk, the Reverend W. Wesley Williams of Norwalk 
Methodist Church, Norwalk, the Reverend J. P. Ball of Grace Baptist 
Church, Norwalk, and the Reverend Dr. Floyd Leach, retired Episcopal 
minister of Rowayton, Conn., were among those clergymen who assisted me 
with information on their own and other denominations. 

Miss Alice Maslin (Nancy Craig) of the American Broadcasting Company 
and Mr. Ben Grauer of the National Broadcasting Company furnished much 
of the material I have used on radio and television. Elizabeth Verner of 
Charleston, S.C., Miss Dorothy Valentine Smith of Staten Island, Mr. A. 
Rush Watkins of Chicago, the late Mrs. George Washington Kavanaugh of 
New York, Mr. Paul T. Truitt of Washington, D.C., Mrs. Maurice Metcalf of 
New Orleans, La., Mr. Robert Taylor of the Pittsburgh Press, Miss Peter 
Carter of the Washington Times-Herald, Mr. and Mrs. Max Blitzer, Mr. and 
Mrs. Basil Lermont, and Helen Pemberton Jones of New York; Miss Dorothy 
Garrard of Los Angeles; Morgan Adams of Pasadena for information on 
skiing; Mr. and Mrs. R. L. Moonan, Mr. D. Leonard Cohen, Mrs. John 
Kobler, and Mr. Howard Whitman of Westport, Conn., are among the 
friends who have given me information on local or foreign customs, Wash- 
ington diplomatic, social, and legislative procedures, and other matters per- 
taining to the content of the book. I wish to acknowledge, too, the co- 
operation of the editors of This Week and Better Homes and Gardens on 
material relating to the book. 

My friend, Virginia Fortiner, was of inestimable help in reading the 
manuscript and making suggestions for its improvement. 

Special thanks go to my secretary, Miss Marie Ritti, for expert typing of 
more than a quarter of a million words and to Miss Helen Walsh for her 
help, too, especially in the handling of my considerable correspondence. 







Making Up the Invitation List When to Send Invitations and Announce- 
ments Choosing the Time of the Wedding Stationery and Engraving 
How to Address Envelopes Wording of Formal Invitations and Announce- 
ments Variations of the Usual Wording Invitation to the House 
Wedding Invitations Combining Invitation to Church Ceremony and 
Reception Pew Cards and Train Cards Church Cards The Reception 
Card The Separate Reception Invitation Wedding Announcements 
Variation of the Usual Wording At Home Cards Invitation to Informal 
Weddings Invitations to Those in Mourning 

Military and Naval Forms for Wedding Invitations and Announcements: 
Regular Officer of the U. S. Army, Reserve Officer on Active Duty, Retired 
Regular Army and Navy Officer, Retired or Inactive Reserve Officer 

Recalling Wedding Invitations Returning Engagement and Wedding Gifts 
Postponing Weddings Replying to Wedding Invitations Recalling a 
Formal Acceptance 


The Visit to the Minister Church Decorations Wedding Music The 
Bride's Formal Wedding Pictures When the Bride or Groom Has Been 
Married Before Selection of Maid, Matron of Honor, Bridesmaids, "J umor 
Bridesmaid" Selection of Ushers and Best Man The Groom's Father as 
Best Man Duties of the Best Man Duties of Ushers Transportation to 

and from Church Gifts for the Bride's Attendants, Ushers, and Best Man 
The Couple's Gifts to Each Other The Bachelor Dinner 

Dress for the Wedding: The Bride's Clothes (Superstitions), The Groom's 
Clothes, Dress for the Ushers, Bridesmaids, Maid and Matron of Honor, 
Flower Girls and Page Boys, and Guests 

Flowers for the Wedding Party Expenses of the Bride's Parents 
Groom's Expenses 


The Rehearsal The Processional and Recessional When There Are 
Two Main Aisles Procedure during the Ceremony The Double Ring 
Ceremony When the Bride's Mother Gives Her Away The Double 
Wedding Children at Second Marriages The Thirtyish Bride 

Differences in Religious Ceremonies: The Catholic Ceremony, Jewish Cere- 
monies, The Christian Science Ceremony, Eastern Orthodox Weddings, The 
Quaker Ceremony, The Mormon Ceremony 


The Receiving Line Who Receives in Place of the Bride's Mother Con- 
versation and the Receiving Line Music and Dancing at the Reception 
The Bride's Table The Table for the Parents When There Is No 
Bride's Table The Wedding Breakfast The Wedding Cake Problems 
of the Divided House Conduct of the Wedding Guests 



Basic Lists of Linens, China, Glassware for the Bride Silver for the Bride 
Monogramming Who Gives Bridal Shower Duties of Shower Guest 


Must One Send a Gift? Suitable Gifts Gifts to the Groom Gifts 


Sent after the Wedding Display of Wedding Gifts The Bride's Thank- 
You Letter 


Gift Suggestions and Invitations to Wedding Anniversaries 


When the Baby Is Christened Invitations to the Christening Dressing 
the Baby for the Occasion What Others Wear Godparents and Their 
Responsibilities Church Christenings The Clergyman's Fee The 
Christening at Home Refreshments after the Ceremony 

The Kinds of Debuts 

The Debutante Tea: The Dress of the Debutante and Her Mother, The 
Receiving Line, The Guests at a Debutante Tea 


Meeting a Man's Family and Friends Gifts before the Engagement Re- 
fusing a Gift The Proposal The Conference with Father How Long 
Should an Engagement Last? Is an Engagement Irrevocable? The 
Engagement and Wedding Rings Parties The Man's Wedding Ring 

Announcing the Engagement: Your Relations with the Press, How Much 
Information the Announcement Should Have, Release Date, Sending Pic- 
tures, Complicated RelatJonsips, Calling Editors 

If the Engagement Is Broken Behavior during Engagements 


Immediate Procedures when Death Occurs Arranging the Funeral 
Clothing for Burial Hanging the Bell Where the Funeral Takes Place 
Death Notices Attending a Funeral Sending Flowers Mass Cards 
Funeral Calls The Funeral Service Pallbearers Ushers Seating 
Arrangements Interment and Grave Marking Fees to the Clergyman, 
Sexton, and Organist, Acknowledgments of Flowers, Mass Cards, and Charity 
Contributions Letters of Condolence and Replies Mourning Dress 
during Mourning The Traditional Idea of Mourning Restriction of 
Activities Resumption of Dating 





The Business Suit The Morning Coat and Accessories The Dinner 
Jacket and Accessories The Tail Coat and Accessories The Frock Coat 
The House Suit Overcoats Formal and Informal Riding Clothes 
Ties, Handkerchiefs, and Jewelry Monogramming Clothes Bad Weather 
Wear What Every Man Should Know about Vests, Socks, and Shoes 
The Hatless and Gloveless Man When Not to Wear Evening Clothes 
Wearing Decorations 


Dress and Rules of Behavior for: Golf, Tennis, Badminton, Yachting, 
Swimming, Hunting, Shooting, Fishing, Skiing, and Skating 


Hints and Forthright Information for the Man Who Wants to Look His 
Best at All Times The Bachelor's Social Problems 


When Does a Man Rise? Who Precedes Whom? Smoking in the Office 
Lunching and Dining with One's Secretary 

Traveling toith a Secretary: Making Reservations, How Should They Reg- 
ister? Does a Secretary Need a Chaperone? 

The Executive on the Telephone When Relatives Visit the Office Is It 
Necessary to Meet Socially with One's Employees? Letters of Resignation 


Sending Flowers Lateness Lighting Women's Cigarettes Shaking 
Hands Hand Kissing Conduct in Public Conveyances Summon- 
ing and Sharing Taxis A Man's Bow Manners on the Street Kissing 
in Public Making Apologies Opening Conversations A Few Brief 


Planning the Basic Wardrobe: Colors, Coats, Hats, Suits, Underthings, 
Dresses, Evening Clothes 


Clothes for Active Sports: Tennis, Skiing, Golfing, Skating, Swimming, 
Yachting, Riding, Shooting 

The Art of Being Well Groomed: A Practical Beauty Routine Changing 
for Dinner, Make-Up Cosmetic Defects and Plastic Surgery How to 
Sit Comfortably and Gracefully When a Woman May Remove Her Hat 

A Woman's Manners in the Business World: Her Attitude toward Her Job, 
Her Appearance, The Importance of Promptness, Taking Orders, Smoking 
and Eating in the Office, Telephone Calls, Personal Letter Writing and 

The Woman Executive: Her Attitude toward Other Women, When the 
Woman Pays the Bill, The Single Woman 


A Guide to Tactful Conversation: Replies to Greetings, When to Use a First 
Name, If You Cannot Remember Names, What Are Personal Questions? 
Dangerous Topics of Conversation, How to Parry Direct Questions, That 
Word "Lady," How about "Miss"? Introductions, Duty Dances 



Mens Clubs: Joining a Club, Tipping in Clubs, Proposing and Seconding 
Suggestions for New Members, Letters of Proposal and Seconding, The 
Letter of Objection, Putting up a Guest, Resigning from a Club, The Guest 
of a Private Club 

Women's Clubs: How to Obtain Membership, The Elective Clubs, Club Teas 

Country Clubs, Yacht Clubs, and Beach Clubs: Club Guests 


Who Is Served First? When to Begin Eating Use of the Knife and 
Fork Drinking Beverages at the Table The Napkin Tipping of 
Dishes The Handled Bouillon Cup Testing Liquids "Stirring" Food 
Conserves and Jellies When Food Is Too Hot "Spoiled" Food 
Coughing at the Table "Foreign Matter" in Food When You Need 
Silverware Tasting Another's Food Using Bread as a "Pusher" 
Reaching at the Table Conversation Posture Taking Portions from 
a Serving Dish Additional Butter How to Hold Glasses Saying 

How to Eat Various Foods: Artichokes, Asparagus, Bacon, Cake, Celery and 
Olives, Chicken, Corn on the Cob, Fish, Fruit Apples, Pears, Apricots, 
Cherries, Kumquats, Plums, Halved Avocados, Bananas, Berries, Grapes, 
Oranges, Mangoes, Peaches, Persimmons, Pineapple, Stewed or Preserved 
Fruit, Tangerines, Watermelon, Pickles, Potatoes, Salad, Salt, Sandwiches, 
Seafood, Spaghetti, Tortillas 


Interfaith Courtesy and Understanding: Learning about and Bespecting 
Other Beligions, Should a Christian Send a Christmas Card to a Jewish 
Friend? Dietary Laws of Jews, Boman and Greek Catholics, Episcopalians, 
and Moslems, Beligious Holidays, Ceremonies of Many Faiths, Particular 
Courtesies, Clerical Dress 


Our Attitude toward Newcomers to the United States and What They 
Think of Us 

Differences in Manners: Tucking in the Dinner Napkin, The American 
and Continental Use of the Knife and Fork, The Use of the Toothpick, 
Acknowledging a Compliment, Introductions and Salutations, Using the 
Phone, The Use of "Lady" and "Gentleman," Changing Your Name 

The New Citizen and the English Language: Is it Necessary to Eliminate 
All Trace of a Foreign Accent? Foreign Words in English, Writing Letters 





The Company or Semiformal Dinner Party: Greeting the Arriving Guests, 
Entering the Dining Boom, Suggested Menu for Dinner, Arranging the 
Table, Dinner Service with One Maid, After-Dinner Coffee or Demitasse 

The Informal Lunch: Dress, Suggested Menu, The Service 

The Informal Tea: Dress, Arrangement of the Tea Tray 

Cocktail Parties: Equipment Necessary, Arranging the Boom, How to Handle 
the Guests Who Linger 


Informal Dancing at Home: Preparations for Simple Home Dancing, Refresh- 
ments, Duties of Host and Guest 
Open House 


The Formal Dinner: The Staff and Equipment Necessary for Giving a Formal 

Dinner, Arrival and Introduction of Guests, Entering the Dining Room, 

Seating, Place Cards, Menus and Menu Cards, Service, Turning the Table, 

Leaving the Dining Room, Departing after the Formal Dinner 

The Formal Luncheon: Dress, Greeting Guests, Place Cards and Menus, 

Arranging the Table, Suggested Menu 

The Formal Tea: The Table and Lighting, Service, Food, Bidding Farewell 

Formal Dances at Home: Decorations, Introductions at a Formal Dance, 

Specific Duties of the Male Guest, Supper 

At Home 


Watching the Service, Second Portions, Do Guests Assist with Service? 
Greeting Servants at Table, The Token Portion, Placement of Used Silver, 
What to Do about Crumbs and Spilled Food, Presentation of the Finger 
Bowl, The Signal to Rise 


What Kinds of Drinks for Guests? The Various Cocktails and Highballs 
Their Suitability and Preparation White and Red Wines Sweet and 
Dry Wines Filtered Domestic Wines Storage of Wines Glassware 
Decanting Pouring of Wines Toasts 


Conversation Is Fun Ice Breakers Music in the Evening Television 

Playing Bridge: Setting up Tables, Behavior during the Game 

Playing Cards for Money: Paying Off Gambling Debts 


Picnics on Your Own Grounds: Necessary Outdoor Cooking Equipment, 
Arranging the Table, Food Suggestions 

Picnics away from Home: Equipment for the "Traveling" Picnic, The Art 
of Packing the Picnic Hamper 

Al Fresco Meals: Selecting the Right Spot, Service and Food Suggestions 


Arrivals and Departures The Self-Invited Guest Inviting a Guest to 

Another's Party The Guests Who Won't Go Problem Drinkers The 
Obnoxious Guest 

Making Your Overnight Guest Feel at Home: The Extra Touches that Count, 
The Well-Appointed Guest Room Beds, Shades, Draperies, and Curtains 

Guest Houses: Solving the Heating Problems, What to Do If You Live in 
the Real Country, Instructions in Case of Emergency 

The Week-End Guest: Invitation and Reply, Arrival and Departure, Gift to 
the Hostess, What Clothes to Take, Rules of Behavior, Greeting Servants, 
How to Infuriate Your Hostess, How to Help with the Household Routine, 
Duties of the Overnight Guest in the City 





How to Form Your Own Tastes in Selecting Furniture Effective Grouping 
of Furniture Choosing Furniture to Fit the Individual Selecting the 
Right Colors 

Linens: Monogramming, Marking Linens for the Laundry, Linens for the 
Nursery, Formal and Informal Table Linens 

China: Blending the Various Kinds of China, China for Formal and Informal 

Glassware: Special Handling of Fine Glassware, Replacing Broken Glass- 
ware, The Right Glass for the Right Occasion 


Breakfast at the Table Breakfast on Trays Decorations for the Breakfast 
Table and Breakfast Tray 

The Place Setting for the Informal Lunch: Suggested Dishes for the Informal 
Lunch and Table Decorations 

The Informal or Semiformal Dinner: Silver, Table Linen, Glassware, China, 
Table Decorations 

The Formal Luncheon: Silver, Table Linen, Glassware, China, Table Deco- 


The Formal Dinner: Silver, Table Linen, Glassware, China, Table Decora- 

Arranging the Buffet Table 


The Placing of Teaspoons The Iced-Tea Spoon Serving Water at Meals 
The Service of Tea, Coffee, Demitasse, and Candy The Service of Food 
on Trays Setting the Table for Card Table Service The Fine Damask 
Cloth Garnishes When Are Place Cards Needed? 


The Hiring of Servants The Domestic Employment Agency Wages 
Your Requirements Interviewing a Prospective Maid What Recom- 
mends You as an Employer? How Good Are References? The Part- 
Time Worker Introducing the New Servant to the Household Intro- 
ducing Servants and Guests How to Furnish a Maid's Room The 
General Houseworker If You Are Your Own Managing Housekeeper 
How to Write Notes to Servants and Tradespeople The Question of Time 
Off and Special Privileges Workman's Compensation Dismissing a 
Servant The Letter of Reference Giving References over the Phone 


The Formal and Informal Attire of the Butler and His Duties The Valet 
The Chauffeur Duties and Dress of the Housekeeper, the Companion, the 
Social Secretary, the Cook and Kitchen Maid, the Lady's Maid, the Chamber- 

A Routine for Managing the Servantless Household 

Maidless Entertaining: The Buffet Dinner, How to Serve a Sit-Down Dinner 
without a Maid, After-Dinner Coffee, After-Dinner Tea, How to Make Tea, 
Suggested Menus for Maidless Dinners, Extra Guests at the Dessert Course 


Financing the Family: Children's Bank Accounts, Letting the Children in 
on Finances, Joint Checking Accounts, Who Should Manage the Family 
Income, Deficit Financing, Establishing Credit, Poor Credit Risks, Living 
within Your Means 

Checking Accounts: How to Open a Checking Account, How to Avoid 
Errors, Blank Checks, Printing and Dating Checks, Who Accepts Checks, 
Stopping Payments on Checks, Drawing against Uncleared Checks, If You 
Lose Your Checkbook, Post-Dated Checks 





A Woman's Social Stationery A Man's Social Stationery "Personal" 
Business Stationery Business Firms' Stationery Signatures on Checks, 
Legal Papers, and Letters Illegible Signatures Sequence of Pages in a 
Letter Addressing Social Envelopes The Use of "Personal" and "Please 
Forward" The Use of "Messrs." Letters That Must Be Handwritten 

Social Letter Writing: The Correct Form for Social Letters, How to Get 
Started, Bread-and-Butter Letters, Thank-You Notes, "Angry" Letters, A 
Letter of Complaint to a Neighbor, Letters of Apology, Love Letters, Letters 
of Social Reference, Writing to a Celebrity, Writing to the White House, 
Writing to a Public Official, Christmas Cards 

Women's Business Letters: Writing the Business Letter, Ordering from a 
Department Store, Letters of Complaint to a Business Organization, Making 
Hotel Reservations 



How to Address in Writing and Speaking Members of the United States 
Government, Foreign Representatives, Members of the Clergy, British Offi- 
cials and Individuals The British Use of Esquire Military Forms of 


What Is a Coat of Arms? The Lozenge How Heraldic Devices Are 


A Bowing Acquaintance with Other Languages Familiar Words and 
Phrases from French, Latin, German, and Other Languages Common 
Expressions from English Literature Words and Phrases Often Incor- 
rectly Used and Pronounced Musical Terms Culinary Terms Re- 
gional Accents The Well-Modulated Voice 






Understanding the Woman in the House The Agreeable Husband 
How a Husband Can Lend a Hand Business Entertaining The Agree- 
able Wife Meeting Commuter Trains Special Adjustments What to 
Do about Annoying Habits Overweight and Underweight Speaking of 
Diets The In-Law Problem Your Mother-in-Law When Your 
Spouse's Parents Live with You What to Do about Real Trouble-Makers 
When a Parent Requires Financial Support 


Choosing the Baby's Name Does Your Child Need a Middle Name? 
Boys' Names for Girls, and Vice Versa 

Children's Clothes: Dressing the Baby, Clothes for the Pre-School and the 
Older Child, Hand-me-downs and Made-overs, When Does a Child Choose 
His Own Clothes? 

About Allowances: How Much Allowance Should a Child Have? With- 
holding Allowances 

Children's Table Manners: Playing with Food, Must a Child Finish His 
Food? Should a Child Choose His Own Food? Small Children at Table, 
Should Children Be Seen and Not Heard? Older Children at Table, Awk- 
wardness in Children 

The Social Behavior of Children: Twenty-two Guides for Good Conduct, 
Calling Parents by Their First Names, "Making" Children Mind Their Man- 
ners, Must a Little Girl Curtsy? The Boy's Bow, Extending Invitations, 
Children's Introductions, Birthday Parties for Children, The Child's Manners 
at His Party 

Special Problems: Taking a Child to the Doctor's Office The Child in the 
Hospital, Children in the Dark, Handling the Shy Child 

The Baby Sitter: You and Your Sitter, How Old Should a Sitter Be? Should 
the Sitter Be Allowed to Entertain? Sharing Sitters, Neighbors Sit for Each 
Other, Mother Needs a Night Out Too 



Your Manners with Children Your Tone of Voice Conversation with 
Children Teaching Children to Behave Why We Must Have Rules 
Are Threats Effective? Interference from Friends or Relatives Is It a 
Child's World? The Treatment of Servants by Children 



The Advantages of an Early Start Travel Sickness The Supplies You'll 
Need Travel Clothes Thoughtfulness of Others Descending on 


Is Strictness the Answer? Teen Drinking Smoking Make-Up and 
Permanents About Chaperones Can the Group Chaperone Itself? 
Teen Dates How Does a Boy Ask for a Date? Dates and Money 
Refusing a Date Subscription Dances, School Dances, and Proms 


Procedures and Agencies That Are of Help in Marital Difficulties Your 
Relations with Other People and the Press during a Trial Separation 
Change of Name and Address after a Woman Is Divorced Our Attitude 
toward Divorce and the Divorcee Remarriage of Divorced Persons to 
Each Other 





Entering a Restaurant Seating and Ordering Omitting Courses Or- 
dering Wine Presentation of Dishes If There Are Complaints Buffet 
Service in Restaurants Presentation of the Check Tipping at Private 
Dinners Tipping at Public Dinners The Guest at a Public Dinner 
Dress at Public Dinners Leaving Restaurants 



When Cards Are Left The Size and Style of Cards- Children's Cards 
Addresses on Cards Engraving A Man's Social Card The Use of 
Professional Titles on Cards Husband and Wife Cards A Woman's 
Social Card Women's Titles on Cards Is a Girl Ever a Jr.? When 
You May Send Your Card Using Your Card for Invitations How to Mail 
Cards When No R.S.V.P. Is Required The P.P.C. Card How Many 
Cards Are Left at One Call To Insure Your Card's Delivery When 
Not to Use Your Card Men's Business Cards Women's Business Cards 
Social Cards vs. Business Cards If You Have No Cards 

Making and Receiving Calls: The Call Itself, Conversation during Calls, 
Bringing Flowers, Calling on the Eligible Man, The Bachelor Host and 
Calls, Calls of Condolence, Calling on a Public Official 


Visiting the New Mother Flowers If You Are the Patient How to 
Share a Hospital Room You and Your Nurse 

Visiting Your Doctor: Professional Ethics, Medical Examinations, Personal 


Introducing Your Speech Using the Voice Correctly If You Have to 
Cough Reading a Speech The Use of Jokes, Illustrations, and Anec- 
dotes Closing a Speech Making Your Departure Dress of the Man 
Speaker What to Wear If You're a Woman Your Radio Appearance 
If You Appear on Television 



Dressing for the Opera Seating in Opera Boxes Applauding at the 
Opera and at Concerts Behavior at the Theater 

Attending Auctions: Inspecting before You Buy, Asking for Specific Items, 
How to Bid, Must the Auctioneer Accept Your Bid? Dealers as Your Com- 
petitors, Imperfect Merchandise, Checking for Authenticity, Buying An- 
tiques, Paying by Check, The Country Auction 


The Gossip Columnist and the Society Writer What about Pictures? 
You and the Law Endorsements Special Press Problems 


Asking for Autographs Entertaining a Celebrity Pity the Poor Author 





What to Do and What Not to Do Necessary Clothes The Hop Itself 
Entertainment of Midshipmen The Souvenir Hunter Annapolis Slang 


Expenses for the Week End Necessary Clothes Entertainment at the 
Point West Point Slanguage 

General Protocol on the Military Post or Navy Yard Post Calls How 
to Tell Military Rank 

General Procedure and Correct Dress for a Ship Launching Boarding a 
Naval Vessel and Making a Call Saluting the Quarter Deck Prohibi- 
tions Concerning Naval Vessels Officers' Staterooms Maritime Terms 
Formal Naval Invitations and Replies 


Accepting or Declining a White House Invitation Being Received at the 
White House Business Calls on the President 


When and How to Display the Flag The Singing of Our National Anthem 
The Star-Spangled Banner Anthems of Other Nations Playing the 
Anthem at Home 






Dress and Behavior aboard Ship Seating in the Dining Room Dress 
aboard Transatlantic Ships Behavior at Table Tipping aboard Ship 
Dressing for Cruises 

Plane Travel: Luggage, Behavior aboard the Plane, Duties of the Plane 
Personnel, Tipping 

Train Travel: Baggage, Seating, When Occupying a Section, Dressing and 
Undressing, Use of the Ladder, The Roomette and the Compartment, The 
Diner, Tipping, Train Manners 

Hotel Tipping Talking to Strangers while Traveling 


Suitable Bon Voyage Gifts Going aboard Ship to Say Good-by Train 
and Plane Farewells 


The American Custom of Taking Baths The W.C. The "Pourboire" 
The "Boots" Tips on Traveling within a Country and from Country to 
Country in Europe Eating Customs Smoking at Table Is the 
Woman Always Placed to the Right of the Man? Are We Boorish 
Abroad? American Women in Latin Countries American Men in Latin 
Countries Dancing The Paid Dancing Partner Taking Pictures 


Requesting an Audience What Clothes to Wear Taking Religious 
Objects to Be Blessed Procedure during the Audience Taking Leave 


Taking Taxis: Behavior in Taxis, Conversation with the Driver, Losing 
Articles in Taxis, Tipping 

Good Manners and Your Car: Hand Signals, Thoughtless Acts, The Good 
Driver, The Welcome Passenger, Double Parking, Is the Slow Driver the 
Best Driver? You and the Law, Hitch-Hikers 

Selecting an Automobile: Colors in Cars, Can You Live up to Your Car? 
The Station Wagon, Marking the Station Wagon 



Wedding Invitations and Announcements 27 

Arranging the Wedding 48 

The Wedding Ceremony 63 

The Wedding Reception 78 

The Home Wedding 88 

The Rectory Wedding 8q 

The Clergyman's Wedding go 

Elopements and Civil Ceremonies 91 

The Trousseau and Bridal Showers 93 

Wedding Gifts 102 

The Honeymoon and Post-Wedding Calls 205 

Wedding Anniversaries 107 

Christenings ioq 

Debuts 113 

Courtship and Engagements 11$ 

Funerals 127 


Every life, even that in a primitive society, has its ceremonies great and 
small, religious and non-religious. We observe small ceremonies when we 
say "good morning" and "good night," when we celebrate a birthday or 
attend a graduation. But the important ceremonies of life have to do with 
its beginning the ritual of circumcision of the Jews and the Mohammedans, 
the Christian baptism or dedication of the child, the youthful years of court- 
ship and marriage, and life's finale. People are born, are married, and, at 
length after a more or less ceremonious life, die. And everywhere friends, 
neighbors, and relatives take cognizance of at least the major ceremonies 
affecting each of us. 

Of all life's ceremonies that of marriage is the most touching and beautiful. 
This is the long anticipated climax of girlhood and boyhood, too the door- 
way to true maturity, the farewell to parents as protectors, the acceptance 
of responsibility. Madame de Stael wrote, "Without marriage there is no 
happiness in love." Love seeks completion and the protection of marriage 
and the family. 

All people everywhere rightly make a ceremony of marriage. They pro- 
claim it publicly with a variety of rituals devised to impress its enormous 
importance on the hearts and minds of the participants and witnesses. All 
marriages should be solemn and well-proclaimed, with the vows exchanged 
in a dignified, suitable setting. 

Whether the bride wears a lovely bridal gown or a simple cotton frock 
makes, of course, no difference in the dignity and impressiveness of the 
ceremony. I believe it is good and valuable if parents and friends gather 
together to witness the marriage in the traditional way and that it take place 
preferably under some religious auspices in the bride's place of worship 
or in her home. The elaborateness or simplicity of the wedding is of no real 
consequence. It is the spirit in which we marry that is truly meaningful. 

Ceremony is really a protection, too, in times of emotional involvement, 
particularly at death. If we have a social formula to guide us and do not 
have to extemporize, we feel better able to handle life. 

I know a writer who says he likes Sunday noon dinner because it helps to 
set the day apart. He makes a ceremony of it. All ceremony, large and small, 
sets apart certain times of the year, week, and day for special marked atten- 


tion. If we ignore ceremony entirely, we are not normal, warm human 
beings. Conversely, if we never relax it, if we "stand on ceremony" in all 
things, we are rigid. We must learn which ceremonies may be breached 
occasionally at our convenience and which ones may never be if we are to 
live pleasantly with our fellow man. 



It is the bride's family that sets the size and style of the wedding. If a large 
wedding is decided upon, the necessary invitation lists must be started almost 
as soon as the engagement is announced or this vital clerical chore will still 
be hanging fire during the complicated arrangements for such a wedding. 
The groom and his family must co-operate by furnishing their invitation and 
announcement lists as early as possible, so the bride may combine them with 
her own usually larger lists, remove duplications, and, if necessary, shorten 
the lists with the help of both families. 

For a large formal wedding many more people receive invitations than 
can possibly accept. Even friends at a great distance are informed by means 
of the invitation that the wedding is taking place. The list should include all 
relatives of the bride and groom, all close friends of both families, neighbors, 
old family retainers, business associates of the two fathers and of the groom 
and, of course, of the bride, if she's a career girl and will continue her work. 
And, incidentally, invitations should be sent to the parents of the groom and 
members of the wedding party. These are treasured as mementos of the 

The full list is then broken down into (1) those who receive invitations 
to the wedding, (2) those who will receive a reception card in addition, 
(3) those who will receive announcements and "At Home" cards, if any. 

Ordinary three-inch by five-inch file cards with two sets of alphabetical 
indexes and two convenient boxes provide the best method of compiling a 
working list. Cards of different colors may be used on the finished list to 
indicate quickly into which category each name falls, but the usual method 
is to write in colored pencil an initial on the top right- or left-hand corner 
of each card "C" for ceremony, "R" for reception, as well as ceremony, "A" 
for announcement. 

In filing the cards follow the alphabetical procedure, don't just put all the 
A's or B's together or duplications will be hard to locate. Using such an 
easily expansible or contractible file is better than just typing up lists on 
sheets of paper or entering names in a notebook under alphabetical head- 


ings where they may end up a thicket of crossed-out names that will make 
addressing confusing. 

The second file box should hold "Acceptances" and "Regrets" so that when 
the reception preparations are made a fairly accurate count may be had, 
with some allowance made for last-minute changes. Both acceptances and 
regrets should be filed alphabetically, too. 


Wedding invitations, unlike ordinary social invitations, are sent approxi- 
mately four weeks in advance of the wedding. Engraved invitations tal 
time and should be ordered at least six weeks before they are to be sent out, 
with consideration given the time it will take to address outer and inner 
envelopes. Announcements, ordered at the same time, are not, of course, sent 
out until after the marriage has taken place, but, if possible, they should be 
ready for mailirg all at once a day or so after the ceremony, so that news 
of the marriage in the papers does not too much predate friends' receipt 
of the announcements. 


The time of day considered fashionable for weddings differs in different 
parts of the country. In New York many fashionable Protestant weddings 
take place at four, four-thirty, or five in the afternoon. Evening weddings 
are relatively rare in New York but fashionable in many other parts of tho 
country. Their own Sabbath, Christian or Jewish, is usually not chosen for 
a wedding day by brides of these faiths (Religious Jews may not be marrieu 
on the Sabbath Friday sundown through Saturday sundown or on certain 
high holy days) nor is Lent by Christians, at least not for religious cere- 
monies. It is not considered good taste for Christians to have even large 
home weddings during Lent, though, of course, simple marriages with or 
without a clergyman do take place during these forty days of penitence. 

Formal and fashionable Catholic weddings in church take place with Mass 
at noon. Simple ceremonies at which the bride may wear her wedding gown 
and the groom may wear a cutaway or a blue suit (see "The Groom's 
Clothes") are often performed very early with Low Mass or at ten, followed 
by a wedding breakfast. No Catholic wedding takes place after seven at 
night, except in the case of great emergency grave illness, perhaps, or 
possibly the sudden arrival of military orders for the groom-to-be. 

Protestant morning weddings are usually simple and informal with the 
bride wearing a dress or suit, not a wedding gown. Wedding breakfasts 
really lunch may follow. In some parts of the country Protestant weddings 
sometimes do take place at noon, that is, fully formal weddings with a bride 
in full bridal array and the groom and his attendants in cutaways. 




It is far better to write personal letters or inform your friends of your mar- 
riage by phone than to have your invitations and announcements printed, 
rather than properly engraved. Of the various types of lettering available, 
the least expensive, and the most used, is graceful script. It costs no more to 
go to a really good, fashionable stationer for your announcements or invita- 
tions. There you will see styles of engraving such as the shaded, or shaded 
antique, Roman currently in vogue. There are slight variations from time to 
time, but essentially the engraving procedure is rigidly conventional. Do it 
right, or don't do it at all. 

paper and envelopes Use the best paper you can afford for announcements 
or invitations. People do look at the quality of paper, and many inspect the 
envelopes to see the name of the stationer from whom you ordered. The 
name of a good stationer embossed under the flap of the envelope lends a 
certain cachet and costs nothing extra. 

The most distinguished wedding paper is the traditional ivory or ecru, 
but pure white is much used, too. Plate-marked papers appear quite fre- 
quendy, and sometimes you see a fine white paper with a warm, almost 
imperceptible flesh tint. But the icy blue and pale pink papers sometimes 
offered and by good stationers, too do get away too radically, I feel, from 
the traditional bridal white or ivory. However, I never could understand, 
either, why a bride would want to wear a bridal gown in one of these pastel 
colors, as is sometimes done. 

Needless to say, the engraving is always in black and on the first page of 
the double sheet. If the bride's family has a coat of arms, a small crest, shield, 
and motto may be embossed not die-stamped in color as on ordinary sta- 
tionery at the top of the first page. However, this is not done if a woman, 
alone, makes the announcement or issues the invitation. If the bride's family 
has no coat of arms, she may not use the crest of her husband-to-be until 
they are actually married, but, even then, if her family issues announcements, 
the husband's device may not be used on them, although the bride's family's 
may be (see "Heraldry"). If the couple themselves make the announce- 
ment, the husband's full coat of arms may be embossed. 

Two envelopes are usually used for wedding invitations and announce- 
ments, although only one may be. Where two envelopes are used, the inside 
one is unsealed (and must not be gummed), and is placed in the outer en- 
velope so that it faces the flap. Tissue over the engraving of the invitation 
when furnished by the stationer for certain type faces is left in place to 
prevent smudging. 

The length of the names, the style of lettering, and, in this case, whether 
or not plate-marked paper will be used has much to do with the size of the 
paper you choose. There are many acceptable variations, but a fairly stand- 
ard size is seven and one-half inches by five and one-half inches for a folded 


invitation or announcement. Smaller announcements or invitations which 
may be inserted into the envelopes unfolded are also correctly used, but if 
reception or "At Home" cards are to be enclosed, it is possible they may 
never be seen if the unfolded style is used. 

how to address the envelopes The addressing of wedding invitations and 
announcements is rigidly prescribed. Abbreviations are not permitted except 
in "Dr.," "Mr.," "Mrs.," and "Jr." (or "Lt." when combined with "Colonel," 
etc.), or in an initial of a name if you don't know it in full. The names of 
cities and states are written out. When an invitation or announcement is 
being mailed in the same city as that in which the wedding is taking or has 
taken place, the name of the state does not appear. For instance : 

Mr. and Mrs. Cedric Moore Mcintosh 

1886 Shore Road 


Where there are several members of a family to be invited, avoid the 
phrase "and family." On the inside envelope is written: 

Mr. and Mrs. Mcintosh 

(no christian name) 

Belinda and Gordon 

(if the children are under age) 

But if there is an adult daughter or other woman in the household you 
wish to invite, she must receive a separate invitation: 

Miss Margaret Mcintosh 

1886 Shore Road 


The inside envelope reads: 

Miss Mcintosh ' 

If there are two sisters write: 

The Misses Agnes and Ann Mcintosh (or Misses Agnes and Ann Mc- 
intosh) and on the inside envelope The Misses Mcintosh (or Misses Mcin- 
tosh) with no address, of course, on the inner one. 

Two grown sons (over eighteen) receive one invitation if they live at 
the same address. They are addressed as: 

The Messrs. Keith and Ian Mcintosh (or Messrs. Keith and Ian Mcintosh) 
with simply The Messrs. Mcintosh (or Messrs. Mcintosh) inside. 

return addresses It is certainly convenient to have a return address on a wed- 
ding announcement or invitation, but this should not be engraved or printed 
on the flap, though it may be embossed or, if essential in some cases, neatly 
written on the flap. 

stamps The dignity of a wedding invitation or announcement, it almost goes 
without saying, requires first-class postage. Stamps should be placed care- 



fully, not stuck on any way at all. The necessarily careful addressing and 
stamping of the envelopes requires that the work be started before the bride 
or her family is worn out by bridal preparations. 

penmanship It is also traditional for the handwriting (in black ink) on the 
envelopes of wedding invitations and announcements to be obviously femi- 
nine and, if possible, of the rounded, clear, English style affected by social 
secretaries. The address, of course, may never be typed. If no social secretary 
is used for a large wedding, friends or relatives may be called on to help, but 
if more than one person does the addressing, the handwritings should be as 
similar as possible. 



Dr. and Mrs. Grant Kingsley 

request the honour of your presence 

at the marriage of their daughter 



Mr. George Frank Carpenter 

on Friday, the ninth of June 

One thousand nine hundred and fifty 

at twelve o'clock 

Saint Mary's Church 

San Francisco 

Mention of the year is optional on an invitation but obligatory on the 
announcement of the marriage. The word "honour" is always spelled in the 
old way. The phrase "honour of your presence" is always used for invitations 
to the church. No R. S. V. P. (optional abbreviation R.s.v.p.) is used where 
the invitation is for the church ceremony alone. The Reception Cards, if any, 
carry the R. S. V. P., even for a wedding tea if desired, although invitations 
to tea do not normally require a reply. 

In a large city where there are many churches and the one where the 
marriage is taking place is not in the category of a landmark, the church 
address is engraved under the name of the church in this way: 

Emmanuel Church 

1122 South Moore Street 


If the street number in the invitation or announcement is short, it should 
be written out "Five" or "Sixteen." 

The time of the ceremony, traditionally on the hour or on the half hour, 
is usually written out. If it is to be on the half hour the wording reads "at 


half after four" or sometimes "at half past four." If the ceremony is on the 
quarter hour, the wording is "at quarter before four" or "at quarter past 

The word "junior" is written without a capital, but it now is abbreviated 
more often than not, just as "Doctor" is. But then it is "Jr." with a capital 
"J." With certain engraving London script it is usually abbreviated as 
"Jun." and numerals are used for the date and time of the ceremony. 

Sometimes the "On" is omitted so that an invitation may read "Friday, the 
ninth of June," but simplification of the form reduces its dignity. 

the gikl with the same name as her mother If a girl has the same name as 
her mother and has for convenience's sake been known as Helen Preston, 
second, she does not use this appellation in her wedding invitations or an- 
nouncements, since her mother's name, as it must be used in the form, could 
not possibly be confused with her daughter's. 

the divorced mother's invitation If her mother is divorced such an an- 
nouncement reads: 

Mrs. Fenwick Kingsley 

(the mother's maiden name plus that of her divorced husband) 

requests the honour of your presence 

at the marriage of her daughter 



when the parents are legally separated Invitations and announcements 
are in the name of the parent (or relative) with whom the bride lives 
usually the mother who must use her husband's name, i.e. Mrs. John 
Kingsley, not Mrs. Ada Kingsley. 

the remarried mother's invitation If the bride's mother, widowed or di- 
vorced, has remarried, the invitation may read: 

Mr. and Mrs. Roderick Merrill 

request the honour of your presence 

at the marriage of her daughter 

Penelope Kingsley 

(Sometimes this reads "at the marriage of Mrs. Merrill's daughter.") 

It is considered less awkward if a remarried woman issues the invitation 
to her daughter's wedding in her name alone, as: 

Mrs. Roderick Merrill 

requests the honour of your presence 

at the marriage of her daughter 


when the father or others issue the invitation If the daughter after her 
parents' divorce has made her home with her father, her grandmother, her 
aunt, brother, or other relative or guardian, the person whose home it is 
makes the announcement jointly with his or her spouse. For example: 



Commander and Mrs. Charles Simonson 

request the honour of your presence 

at the marriage of her grand-daughter 



The Reverend and Mrs. Myron Cyrus Kingsley 

request the honour of your presence 

at the marriage of their sister 

Penelope Kingsley 

In this form the bride's last name is used to show she is Mr., not Mrs- 
Kingsley 's sister. 

If the bride's brother is unmarried and he issues the invitation, it reads: 

The Reverend Myron Cyrus Kingsley 

requests the honour of your presence 

at the marriage of his sister 


If the bride's father is a widower he issues the invitation. Also if he is a 
divorce and his daughter has lived with him, he issues the invitation, al- 
though he may choose to do the more graceful thing and permit the bride's 
mother to do so for the sake of convention, even if she and her daughter 
rarely see each other. An invitation from a father alone reads: 

Dr. Grant Kingsley (or doctor) 

requests the honour of your presence 
at the marriage of his daughter 

If the bride's sister is issuing the invitations they read: 

Miss Cordelia Kingsley 

requests the honour of your presence 

at the marriage of her sister 

Penelope Kingsley 

Only if the wedding is being given by a close relative is the relationship 
shown in the invitation. If cousins, friends, or a guardian issue the invita- 
tion, the connection is not shown. 

double wedding of sisters In a double wedding if the brides are sisters, the 
elder sister is mentioned first and the invitation reads: 


Dr. and Mrs. Grant Kingsley 

request the honour of your presence 

at the marriage of their daughters 



Mr. George Frank Carpenter 




Mr. Amos Reynolds 


double wedding of cousins or friends If the brides are cousins or just friends, 
the invitation could read: 

Dr. and Mrs. Grant Kingsley 


Mr. and Mrs. Claude Roen 

request the honour of your presence 

at the marriage of their daughters 

Penelope Kingsley 


Mr. George Frank Carpenter 


Marie Rose Roen 


Mr. Gregory Pardee 

Here the older bride is mentioned first, with her parents, but when the 
brides are more or less the same age the order is alphabetical. However, 
when there is a great difference in age between the two groups of parents 
or if, for example, one bride's invitations are issued by her grandparents, it 
is the older sponsors who take the precedence. Tided parents, too, take pre- 
cedence over non-titled ones in an invitation to a double wedding. While 
such an announcement as this is possible, it is more probable that each 
bride would prefer to have her own invitation, even for a double wedding. 
Separate invitations also make reception acceptances simple to handle. It is 
possible to indicate a double wedding by engraving the two separate invita- 
tions, vis-a-vis on the inside of the double sheet. 


Mr. and Mrs. Perry Coates 

request the honour of your presence 

at the marriage of 

Miss Laura Lee Mercer" 

to their son 

Mr. Trimble Coates 


*The "Miss" is used when the givers of the wedding are not relatives. 



The circumstances would have to be very special indeed for the wedding 
to be given by the groom's family and those circumstances very well under- 
stood by intimate friends of both the bride and the groom. To give remote 
examples, if the families were old friends or distantly related or if the bride's 
home were far from the city in which the wedding is to take place and her 
own parents could not be with her, then she might properly accept her 
future mother-in-law's invitation that the wedding be given at the groom's 
home. But she should never flout convention and suggest such a thing. And 
unless she is very sure of her welcome in the family she would be better 
off with a quiet church or registry ceremony and no attempt at a formal 
reception. Instead, she might ask the witnesses, if any, to the home of a close 
friend, if she has one nearby, who might act as hostess for anything from 
sherry and biscuits to breakfast, tea, or champagne, depending on the hour 
of the ceremony. Or, if she has an apartment of her own, she can have any 
unpretentious breakfast, tea, or reception she can manage herself, acting as 
her own hostess just as she may, if she wishes, under modern convention, 
issue her own engraved invitations. 

the bride on her own Occasionally a young bride has no close relatives or 
friends to issue her invitation for her or make her wedding announcement. 
In this case, as with the older bride who wishes to make her own announce- 
ment or issue her own wedding invitation, the form reads: 

The honour of your presence 
is requested at the marriage of 


Miss Cordelia Kingsley 

(note "miss") 


(or "and") 

Mr. Winthrop Cass Bowers 


the divorcee The older woman who has been divorced does not send engraved 
wedding invitations, although she may invite a few close friends and rela- 
tives to a small ceremony. She or her family may or may not send announce- 

the very young widow A very young widow may have engraved wedding 
invitations issued by her family or by herself. If her family issues them, they 

Mr. and Mrs. Sydney Myers 

request the honour of your presence 

at the marriage of their daughter 

Sylvia Ann Kiser 




Here her late husband's name is used with her given names, although 
some prefer to use the clearer form "Sylvia Myers Kiser." Note that she is 
not "Mrs. Sylvia," always an ugly appellation and which looks worst of all 
on a wedding invitation. 

If a young widow is issuing her own wedding invitation, it reads: 

The honour of your presence 

is requested at the marriage of 

Mrs. Maximillian Georg Kiser 



the older widow We sometimes see an invitation from an older widow in 
which she is referred to as "Mrs. Catherine" so and so, the idea being that 
there may be some lack of propriety in the use of her dead husband's name 
in her wedding invitation to his successor. Throughout her widowhood 
there has been no impropriety in continuing the use of her late husband's 
name. No matter how long she remains a widow, she is, properly, Mrs. John 
Jones, not Mrs. Catherine Jones. Why, when she does remarry, should she 
subject herself to the indignity of being "Mrs. Catherine Jones" and on an 
engraved invitation, at that! No let such an invitation read: 

The pleasure of your company 

is requested at the marriage of 

Mrs. Grant Kingsley 



If it is a church ceremony the first line reads, "The honour of your pres- 
ence ..." 

If the widow has remained reasonably close to the family of her late 
husband she may send them an invitation to the wedding. If she doesn't 
choose to do this, however, she should certainly send them an announcement. 


An invitation to a house wedding carries the R.s.v.p. (or R.S.V.P.), as 
a collation will be served afterward and the number of guests needs to be 
known. Otherwise the house wedding invitation reads the same as the one 
to the church except that the second line is changed to "the pleasure of 
your company." The house address is used in place of the name of the 

1339 Belmont Terrace 
Montclair, New Jersey 



Or, if the wedding will take place in a home in a large city the address 

1125 Park Avenue 

New York (without the state) 

If the wedding, with its reception, takes place in a club or hotel, it is indi- 
cated in this way that the R.s.v.p. is sent to the bride's home: 

The Ritz Carlton 
New York 
1125 Park Avenue 


When the wedding itself is held, for some reason, in the home of friends, the 
invitation is in the name of the bride's parents, even though they cannot be 
present. If the parents are not living the bride may either issue the invita- 
tion herself (see "The Bride on Her Own") or have her friends as sponsors 
do so. In the latter case the form is: 

Mr. and Mrs. Angus Work 

request the pleasure of your company 

at the marriage of 

Miss Penelope Kingsley (note miss) 


Mr. George Frank Carpenter 

on Friday, the ninth of June 

One thousand nine hundred and fifty-two 

at four o'clock 

600 Rose Lane 

Waco, Texas 

R. S. V. P. 


If all those at the ceremony are to be invited to the reception the wedding 
invitation may read as follows and no reception card is necessary: 


Dr. and Mrs. Grant Kingsley 

request the honour of your presence 

at the marriage of their daughter 



Mr. George Frank Carpenter 

on Friday, the ninth of June 

One thousand nine hundred and fifty 

at twelve o'clock 

Saint Mary's Church 

San Francisco 

and afterward at 

"The Gulls" 


R.s.v.p. (or, less usually, "the favour [note spelling] of a reply is 



Today it is fairly rare for an invitation to include either a train card or a 
pew card. If pews are to be allocated it is preferable that pew numbers not 
appear on the invitation but for purposes of efficiency be given out after 
acceptances are received. It is much more usual for the bride's mother and 
the groom's mother to send their visiting cards along with the wedding invi- 
tation to those special friends and relatives they wish to seat in reserved 
sections "Within the Ribbons" bride's section (one or two pews) to the 
left, groom's to the right. Such a card would read: 

Groom's Reserved Section (handwriting black ink) 
Mrs. Norman Snowden Carpenter 

A train card makes sense if a private car has been reserved to take guests 
from a main point to arid from the wedding. Then the card is enclosed in 
those invitations going to guests likely to go by train, and they, in turn, 
present it to the conductor in lieu of a ticket. Otherwise, it is expedient 
merely to enclose a regular train schedule for such guests and let them make 
their own arrangements. A train card, if used, may read: 

AT 6:35 P.M. 

For a country or suburban home wedding the kind of rustic map often 
printed for the assistance of guests coming by car may be reproduced on a 
card of the same stock used in the invitation and be enclosed with it. 




Only at very large and fashionable weddings in big churches ordinarily 
filled with sight-seers is it sometimes necessary to have church cards. They 
should be without the crest, shield, or motto, if the device is used on the 
invitation, and should be engraved in the same manner as the invitation 
and on the same stock. They mean that the church has been closed to the 
public for the period of the ceremony and only bearers of the cards will be 
admitted. Such cards read: 

Please present this card 

at St. Patrick's Cathedral 

Wednesday, the first of March 

Note that here it is usual to abbreviate "Saint." 


When not all those attending the wedding are to be invited to the reception 
a reception card of the same stock as the invitation and about half the size 
is included with its tissue. It should not bear a crest, shield, or motto and 
may read: 

Dr. and Mrs. Grant Kingsley 

request the pleasure of your company 

at the wedding breakfast 

following the ceremony 


"The Gulls" 



Note "pleasure of your company," as this is now a social occasion. 

When the reception is to be held in the home of friends the card reads: 

Dr. and Mrs. Grant Kingsley 

request the pleasure of your company 

at the wedding breakfast 

following the ceremony 

at the home of 

Mr. and Mrs. Curtis Piatt 

Turkey Hill Road 


The favour of a reply is requested to 

"The Gulls," Belvedere (the bride's home) 

If a mother or father, alone, issues the wedding invitation, the reception 


card must include the name of the spouse, if the divorced or widowed parent 
has remarried. A reception card bears the name of host and hostess. 


Sometimes an invitation to the wedding reception is engraved on the same 
kind of double sheet usually used for the wedding invitation. This is useful 
where there may be only an intimate wedding ceremony, for which no 
engraved invitations may be issued, followed by a large reception. Such an 
invitation reads: 

Dr. and Mrs. Grant Kingsley 

request the pleasure of your company 

at the wedding breakfast of their daughter 


and (note the 'and") 

Mr. George Frank Carpenter 

on Friday, the ninth of June 

at one o'clock 

"The Gulls" 




Wedding announcements, as previously noted, are sent only to those not 
invited to the wedding. They read: 

Dr. and Mrs. Grant Kingsley 

have the honour of announcing 

(or have the honour to announce) 

the marriage of their daughter 



Mr. George Frank Carpenter 

on Friday, the ninth of June 

One thousand nine hundred and fifty 

(must give year) 

Saint Mary's Church 

(optional to mention) 

San Francisco 

the divorcee's announcement If a divorcee is young, her parents issue the 
announcement of her wedding: 



Mr. and Mrs. Sidney Myers 
have the honour of announcing 
the marriage of their daughter 
Sylvia Ann Kiser 
If she is mature, the divorcee may issue her own announcement, in con- 
junction with her husband: 

Mrs. Myers Kiser 

Mr. Kurt Samuels 
remarriage of divorced persons to each other Occasionally people who 
have been divorced eventually remarry each other. When this occurs, no for- 
mal announcements are sent out, but friends are informed of the good news 
by word of mouth, by letter, and by telegram. No formal announcements 
are released to the press. In such instances, often children are involved, so 
the reunion of the couple should be made almost as if the schism had never 


"At Home" cards are often in wedding announcements, less often in invita- 
tions to weddings and receptions. They give the new address of the couple. 
Smaller than the reception card, they are, however, of the same style as it, 
with abbreviations and without a coat of arms or a lozenge (see "Heraldry"). 
They carry the correct postal address in detail: 

At Home (or this may be omitted) 

after the first of August 

(capital "a" for "after" if first line is omitted) 

10 Washington Square, South 

New York, 11, New York 


A small wedding does not require engraved invitations in fact, they may 
seem pretentious. Instead, the mother of the bride may write short notes 
of invitation, telegraph or phone the relatives and friends who are to be in- 
vited to the ceremony or the reception or both. 

If the bride's mother is dead her father or some close relative, preferably 
an aunt or grandmother, issues the invitations. Or she may even issue them 
herself if she has no close relatives. Often, after such informal weddings, 
engraved announcements are sent to friends and relatives at a distance, but 
never to those who have been invited to the ceremony or the reception. An 
informal invitation to a wedding may be phoned or it may be written on the 
household's conservative notepaper, in blue or black ink, this way: 


"The Beaches" 
Meriden, Connecticut 
April 6, 1952 
Dear Marion, 

Faith is being married here at home to Ronald Ward, Saturday, April 22, 
at four-thirty. We do hope you will be with us and will be able to stay for 
tea, afterwards. 

As ever, 

For such an invitation, just such a short note, giving the time and place of 
the ceremony or, if the invitation is being issued only for the reception, the 
time and place of the reception is all that is necessary, and it is taken for 
granted that the invitation will be promptly answered. Informal invitations 
may be sent on very short notice, if necessary, but the usual two weeks in 
advance, as for ordinary social invitations, is customary. 

reply to an informal wedding invitation A reply to an informal wedding 
invitation is sent immediately, usually in the form in which it was received. 
If it was a telegram and the time before the ceremony is short a wire goes 
in reply. If the invitation came by phone or note a reply by either means is 
correct. In phoning an acceptance the recipient asks to speak to the sender 
of the invitation or, if someone responsible answers the phone, leaves the 
message, "Mr. and Mrs. Wainwright accept Mrs. Samuel's invitation to Miss 
Consuela's wedding on the fifteenth." A note in reply would read: 

Dear Lenore, 

We are so happy about Consuela's forthcoming marriage and are delighted 
to be included. We'll drive over and will stay at the Inn where I have 
already made reservations. Until Saturday week. 



People in mourning are included in the wedding invitation list, and even if 
they are in deep mourning, may accept just as they would attend church 
services or continue to sing in the choir. If their bereavement had been very 
recent, they might attend the wedding but not the reception, always a gay 
social function. It is even possible for one in mourning to be in the bridal 
party. If she's a bridesmaid she dresses exactly as the rest, and a mourning 
usher or best man never wears a band on his sleeve. All the attendants are 
considered to be in wedding uniform, their own problems and personalities 
subjugated for the day they are in the service of the bride and groom. This 
is understood by everyone, and only if bereavement has been very recent 
and very close is it sometimes necessary for an attendant to ask to be ex-. 



cused, not because of possible criticism, but because his own obvious sorrow 
might cast a shadow on the happy day. 


If officers are of the Army and Navy Reserve it is only when they are on 
active duty that they use their titles on wedding invitations and announce- 
ments. Otherwise, they are "Mr." It is modern to abbreviate the titles, just 
as "Dr." is more often than not abbreviated. If the following form is used, 
the title is usually written out: 

Dr. and Mrs. Grant Kingsley 

request the honour of your presence 

at the marriage of their daughter 

Cordelia Kingsley 


Winthrop Cass Bowers 

Lieutenant United States Army (no comma) 

regular officer u. s. army Or, where the officer's rank is Captain or above in 
the Army (or senior lieutenant or better in the Navy) the title appears first: 

Capt. (or captain) Winthrop Cass Bowers 
United States Army 

In either case it is optional to mention the branch of service, though the 
regiment is omitted. It may read: 

Captain Winthrop Cass Bowers 
Artillery, United States Army 


reserve officer active duty For a Reserve Officer on active duty the phrase 
"United States Army" changes to "Army of the United States." 

Non-commissioned officers and enlisted men often prefer to use only their 
names, with the branch of service immediately below: 

Wilson Ford (note, not "mr.") 

United States Marine Corps 

Wilson Ford 
Staff Sergeant United States Marine Corps 

is correct, too. 

retired regular army and navy officers High-ranking Army and Navy 
officers retired from regular service keep their titles in civilian life. Their 
names on wedding invitations, announcements and engraved forms read: 


Commodore Vincent Ludlow Bird 

United States Navy, Retired (note comma) 


Lt. General Packard Deems 
United States Marine Corps, Retired 

retired or inactive reserve officers Do not use their former titles, socially 
or otherwise. 

the bride in military service Uses her military title in wedding invita- 
tions and announcements with the identifying branch of the service as do 
men in service (see page 43). When she is marrying a man in the armed 
forces, the service appears beneath each title. 


If after wedding invitations have been sent out the wedding is called off, 
guests must be informed as soon as possible. They may be sent notes, tele- 
grams, printed or engraved cards (when there is time for the engraving). 

Dr. and Mrs. Grant Kingsley 

announce that the marriage of their daughter 



Mr. George Knapp Carpenter 

will not take place 

A telegram is signed by those who issued the invitation. It would read, 
"The marriage of our daughter Penelope to Mr. George Knapp Carpenter 
will not take place. Dr. and Mrs. Grant Kingsley." A telegram to a close 
relative would be less formally worded and carry the familiar signature. 


When an engagement is broken or a wedding does not take place, the 
gifts must be returned to all senders with tactful notes of explanation. Only 
when the prospective groom has died is it proper for the girl to keep 
wedding gifts and then only if she is strongly urged to do so, in some 
cases, by a donor whose gift may have a sentimental rather than monetary 
value. She would not keep gifts intended for a joint household that will 
never be. If a wedding has been postponed for any reason, gifts are not 
returned unless after reasonable length of time the marriage still does not 
take place. In the event that the marriage lasts a brief time, the gifts legally 
belong equally to both. Socially, however, it has been customary to allot all 
wedding gifts to the bride except those explicitly given to the groom. They 
are not returned to the senders unless, perhaps, they have not been opened 
and used. 


If a wedding is postponed and a new date has been set guests may be 
informed by telegram or sent a new printed invitation done in the style of 
the original engraved one. It reads: 



Dr. and Mrs. Grant Kingsley 

announce that the marriage of their daughter 



Mr. George Frank Carpenter 

has been postponed from 

Friday, the ninth of June 


Friday, the eighth of September 

at noon 

St. Mary's Church 

San Francisco 


Formal, engraved invitations to a church wedding do not require answering. 
But if a reception card is included or if a separate invitation to the recep- 
tion is received, then one answers in the traditional form in response to 
the R.s.v.p. on the lower left of the card or invitation. The reply is written 
in longhand on one's best conservative notepaper in blue or black ink with 
the wording and its spacing taking the form of engraving. An acceptance 
reads (as it does for any engraved invitation): 

Mr. and Mrs. Morrow Truitt 

accept with pleasure 

Dr. and Mrs. Kingsley's 

kind invitation for 

Friday, the ninth of June 

at noon 

A regret follows the same form (but see acceptable alternative below). 
It reads: 

Mr. and Mrs. Morrow Truitt 

regret that they are unable to accept 

Dr. and Mrs. Kingsley's 

kind invitation for 
Friday, the ninth of June 

A more detailed regret states "why" in this way: 

Mr. and Mrs. Morrow Truitt 

regret (or regret exceedingly) that 

their absence from the city 

(or a previous engagement) 

prevents their accepting 

Dr. and Mrs. Kingsley's 



In each case, of course, the envelope is addressed, for the reply, to Dr. 
and Mrs. Grant Kingsley, using the names exactly as they appear in the 

The wedding may be that of your most intimate friend or of your closest 
relative, but if you have received an engraved invitation you answer it in 
formal style. 

In an acceptance it is well to repeat the hour but optional to repeat the 
full details of the invitation. But the simple form given is acceptable in all 
cases except that of a "regret" to the White House (see "White House 
Etiquette"). If the full form is used in an acceptance most of the wording 
in the invitation is repeated: 

Mr. and Mrs. Morrow Truitt 

accept with pleasure 

Dr. and Mrs. Kingsley 's 


kind invitation to 

the wedding breakfast of their daughter 



Mr. George Frank Carpenter 

at one o'clock 

"The Gulls," Belvedere 

A fully written out regret does not repeat the place or the hour, merely 
the date. 

It is always a great compliment to receive a wedding invitation. As I have 
said, it never requires an answer unless it includes an invitation to the 
reception, but it is a gracious thing for the recipient to write the person 
to whom he feels indebted for the invitation the bride's mother, father, the 
bride herself, or the groom or his family about his happiness at the forth- 
coming event. Such a letter, as it is not in direct reply to the invitation, 
which needs none, is couched in the usual social form, not in the third 
person. It might read: 

April 8 
Dear Jack, (to the groom) 

It was wonderful to get the impressive news of the wedding. I'd give a 
lot to be there, as you and Alice know, but I shall drink a toast to your 
happiness on that day and hope for a quick trip to the States soon, so I may 
enjoy the sight of you at home together at last. 

With warmest regards to you both, 

Of course, engraved wedding invitations are expensive, and, if they must 
be limited for economy's sake, some who should receive them, such as 



brother George in Cincinnati or the members of the bridal party, who 
would certainly like to keep them in their memory books, may have to be 
satisfied with their oral or written invitations. It is safer to omit the younger 
than the older generations, since the latter are more likely to feel slighted 
if they are not treated to all the formality connected with the event, rela- 
tives or no. 


If you have accepted an engraved wedding invitation and then something 
occurs that makes it impossible for you to attend, you may write a formal 
regret, send a telegram, or telephone your excuses, but a valid excuse must 
be given. You certainly may not back out of an accepted invitation because 
a more attractive one has arrived. Illness, death in the family, or a sudden 
business trip are acceptable excuses. If you receive an invitation to the 
White House for the same date as that of a formal wedding invitation you have 
already accepted the White House invitation takes precedence over a 
social one. A regret, following a previous acceptance, may take this form: 

Mr. and Mrs. Morrow Truitt 

regret that the sudden illness 

of Mrs. Truitt 

prevents their attending 

the wedding on 
Friday, the ninth of June 

If the regret is occasioned by a summons to the White House, the second 
and third lines read: 

regret that an invitation to 

The White House 



When a death occurs in a family that has issued formal invitations is it 
necessary to recall the invitations? It certainly used to be, but our ideas 
have changed very radically on the subject of mourning. Certainly no bride 
would want to go through an elaborate wedding ceremony followed by 
the festivity of a large reception within a few days of her mother's or father's 
death or of the sudden death of the groom's mother, father, sister, or 
brother. The death of a very old person, a grandmother or grandfather, 
rarely calls for the postponement of a wedding these days, but it all very 
much depends on the feelings of all involved. 

If after a family conference it is decided to recall a wedding invitation 
because of a death, the guests are notified by wire, by phone, or, if there is 
time, by printed cards in the same style as the invitation. They may read: 


Mrs Grant Kingsley 

regrets that the death of 

Dr. Kingsley 

obliges her to recall the invitations 

to the wedding of her daughter 

(the names are optional) 

Friday, the ninth of June 

Such notification does not mean, of course, that the marriage won't take 
place. It may, instead, be a quiet family ceremony on the original day 
planned. The bride may even wear her bridal gown and have one attendant, 
but without a crowded church the full panoply of bridesmaids and ushers 
would be senseless. 



No bride, no matter how much her heart is set on it, should go ahead with 
plans for a formal wedding without the groom's complete acceptance of all 
it entails. An elaborate wedding should have professional management, if 
possible, so the wedding day doesn't arrive with the bride harassed and 
tearful and the groom wondering why he ever consented to such a thing. 
A formal wedding is a beautiful and impressive ceremony if everything 
has been done on schedule the gowns delivered on time, every last detail 
of catering attended to, and the bride with the last two weeks to rest as 
much as she can, although during this time there will be a rehearsal and 
a dinner for the bridesmaids and ushers. And she may have a tea at which 
she will show her presents to close friends, if the gifts are not to be exhibited 
at the reception. 


Where arrangements must be made for a religious ceremony, with or without 
the use of a church for the wedding, the bride and groom together visit 
the minister and discuss the hour of the ceremony, the music, the kind of 
gown the bride will wear (very short sleeves are sometimes not permitted), 
and any church regulations that must be fulfilled or local customs to be 

If the couple are Catholics and the priest they have chosen does not 


Know them they must present baptismal certificates and written indication 
from their own parishes that they are free to marry. If both are Catholics 
banns are proclaimed three successive Sundays or holy days before the 
wedding in their own parish churches. Mixed marriages between Catholics 
and non-Catholics require special dispensation and a period of preparation 
for the non-Catholic. 

Protestants who have been divorced may have some difficulty marrying 
in church, especially if they have been divorced more than once. Some 
ministers make the distinction that they will remarry only the "injured 
party" in a divorce. They require that divorced persons present the cre- 
dentials permitting their remarriage. In most states there are blood tests 
and a necessary "waiting period" (see the World Almanac) between the 
issuance of the license and the marriage. Ministers are not permitted to 
waive this period. If it must be waived because of some emergency a civil 
procedure must be followed before the marriage can take place. 

Most ministers prefer to see the bride and groom before the ceremony 
to be sure there is no impediment to the union about to take place. But 
sometimes for a small non-church wedding, where the principals are well 
known to the clergyman, the mother of the bride makes arrangements with 
the family's own clergyman to perform the marriage on the day chosen. 


Decorations in the church may be limited to suitable altar flowers where 
decorating of the altar is permitted for a small wedding or may be extensive 
and expensive, despite the desired simplicity of effect. Sometimes only the 
aisle posts on the reserved pews are decorated, even for very formal wed- 
dings. But a clever florist can do impressive things with boxwood, palms, 
ferns, and various available greenery, with or without flowers which, if 
used, need not be white. 

canopy and carpet The canopy from the curb to the church door for formal 
weddings is not used much today, but the church aisle is often carpeted by 
the florist when he decorates the church. Or immediately before the pro- 
cession starts and after the bride's mother is seated (and no one should 
be admitted after she starts down the aisle), two ushers starting in either 
direction roll a canvas covering down the aisle. This serves as a protection 
to the bride's train and is left down until all the guests have left. The florist, 
or whoever furnished it, removes it. 

itltlM. MUSIC 

It is necessary to discuss the wedding music with the officiating clergyman 
and the church's music director, as various rules apply. In some churches 
soloists are not permitted, in others only rigidly prescribed music may be 
played by the organists. The Lohengrin Wedding March is traditional in 
the processional the thrilling "Here Comes the Bride!" with the Mendels- 
sohn March from Midsummer Night's Dream for the recessional. During 


the entrance of guests most churches permit a wide range of music, but it is 
best to keep to the accepted classics and to avoid sentimental, popular 
music that might take away from the dignity of the occasion. Be sure to 
discuss each selection with the organist, however don't just "leave it up to 
him" or you may find that some of the permitted secular music is not up to 
your own taste at all. There is a fee anywhere from ten to thirty dollars for 
organ music in church, with additional ones to be fixed for soloists or choir 
if they are used, too. 


Formal photographs of the bride in her bridal costume are rarely taken the 
day of the wedding but, instead, after the final fitting of her gown. If they 
are needed for newspaper reproduction it is preferable that they be fur- 
nished well in advance of the wedding day. 

Trousseau shops often arrange for bridal photographs to be taken there 
before the gown is delivered. Or the bride may have her picture taken at 
home a few days before the wedding. If the wedding is in a church and it 
is desired to photograph the ceremony, it is necessary to get permission to 
do this from the clergyman who will officiate at the ceremony. 

A bride should avoid heavy make-up and, for her photographs especially, 
omit eye shadow, mascara, and dark lipstick. Almost no make-up at all pro- 
duces the loveliest bridal pictures. 


Small weddings are the rule for second marriages, with one attendant for 
each participant to act as the necessary witnesses. The bride need not be 
given away and receptions are much simpler and smaller than those for a 
first marriage. The bride should not expect gifts, although many friends 
who sent them for her first marriage may wish to do so again. 

The bride who has been married before never wears a wedding veil nor 
does she wear white. Otherwise she dresses for the time of day and the 
degree of formality her wedding calls for and wears a corsage. Her head 
covering is either a small hat or a flower arrangement. It is only the bride's 
previous status that determines whether or not she may wear a wedding veil. 


The fact that the groom has been married more than once does not affect 
the marriage plans of his bride if this is her first marriage. If she is young 
enough she may wear a bridal veil, even if the groom is much older than she. 


The bride usually chooses a sister as maid or matron of honor, or, if she 
has none, a close friend. She may have both maid and matron of honor- 
one could be her sister, the other a friend. The matron of honor may be a 
widow, but it is preferable that she not be a divorcee or considerably older 
than the bride at least not in a large formal wedding. 

If the bride chooses to have both maid and matron of honor, she assigns 



one of them to hold her bouquet during the ceremony and to adjust her 
veil as she goes down the aisle in the recessional. She precedes the bride, 
with the other honored one following the bridesmaids in the processional, 
or maid and matron may walk together directly preceding the bride. In the 
recessional, the bride and groom lead. If there are both matron and maid 
of honor, they follow, walking together or with the elder preceding the 
younger attendant, unless ushers and bridal attendants are paired in the 

Bridesmaids, who may be young matrons, are chosen from among the 
bride's close friends and should not be older than she. 


There is occasionally a place in the wedding party for a girl between the 
ages of ten and fourteen. She is known as the "junior bridesmaid" or 
"maiden of honor." In the procession she walks in front of the bridesmaids, 
as junior bridesmaid. If she is to be maiden of honor she precedes the bride 
if there is no maid of honor or matron of honor. If there is either of these 
then she precedes the maid or matron of honor. Where there is no maid 
or matron of honor and only a maiden of honor, the latter may perform 
the duties of the bride's chief attendant although I think that it is too much 
of a strain for a girl so young and prefer not to see her have this respon- 


The groom chooses his ushers and best man. His best man is usually a 
brother, if he has one and if there isn't too great a difference in age. If a 
brother does not serve, the groom's closest friend does. His ushers should 
be chosen from among his intimate friends, as once asked, a man cannot 
refuse such an honor except for a serious reason. Although at a small wed- 
ding the groom may do without ushers and the bride without bridesmaids, 
each must have one attendant to serve as a witness, so the best man and 
maid or matron of honor are indispensable. If the best man is to be chosen 
from among several close friends of the groom he must be a good executive, 
if it is to be a large formal wedding, for his duties are legion. 

In a big church it is necessary to have enough ushers more than brides- 
maidsto seat the expected guests. However, if a big church is chosen, it is 
not necessary to invite enough guests to fill it, as part of the body of the 
church near the altar may be enclosed with boxwood or other greens to 
make a small chapel for the ceremony. Ushers seat only invited guests, and 
do not permit outsiders to be seated until all expected guests are in place. 

Ushers may be married or single, but it is unusual for a husband and wife 
to serve together, except at a double wedding where the first couple married 
may act as best man and matron of honor for the second. 

When married men act as ushers or matrons act as bridesmaids their 
husbands and wives must be invited to the wedding, but they need not be 
asked to sit at the bridal table, which is, officially, only for the bridal party 
and even excludes the parents of the couple. 


The ushers and best man provide all their own clothes for the wedding 
with the exception of their ties and gloves, which are furnished them by 
the groom. He, or the best man, has ascertained sizes and has these items 
delivered well in advance of the wedding. At the bachelor dinner the 
groom's gifts to his ushers and his best man are at each table place but 
never the clothing accessories. 

the groom's father as best man Very occasionally, especially if he has no 
brother, the groom asks his father to be his best man. If the father is very 
young-looking this does not seem too incongruous, but it is best to keep 
the wedding party at the same age level as that of the bride and groom. 

duties of the best man The best man has always had an important role in all 
weddings. In ancient times, when marriage was by seizure of some girl out- 
side the tribe, the best man was chosen for his brawn and bravery, as he was 
needed to fend off the bride's male relatives and, later, to prevent the bride's 
escape from the groom. Today, while his duties are less vigorous, they are 
nevertheless extensive at any formal wedding. 

The best man is adviser, messenger, valet, secretary, and general factotum 
to the groom. He takes him firmly in hand from the very start of prepara- 
tions for the wedding, seeing to it that he is fitted for his wedding clothes, 
if new ones are to be made for him or if they are to be rented that he has 
the ties and gloves for the ushers, that he confers with the bride on the 
needed flowers for ushers and for her bouquet and his boutonniere, all of 
which the groom usually pays for, though she orders (see "Flowers"). 

He rounds up the ushers for the rehearsal and sees that it goes off accord- 
ing to schedule. He remains with the groom all day before the ceremony, 
traditionally even rousing him in the morning. He helps the groom dress, 
making sure there are extra collar buttons ready in case of emergency, 
laying out all the items of his wardrobe, seeing that his boutonniere is in his 

The best man sees that the marriage license is in the groom's pocket and 
the wedding ring safely on his own little finger or in his vest pocket. He 
makes sure that he, himself, has the clergyman's fee (from ten dollars up, 
depending on the elaborateness of the wedding) in a sealed envelope to be 
tendered, quietly, before the ceremony, so it won't be overlooked. 

The best man has the ushers at the church at the appointed time an hour 
before the church ceremony, or three quarters of an hour before at a home 
ceremony and the groom in the vesting room a good half hour before. No 
bride should ever be kept "waiting at the church." 

After the ceremony the best man joins in the recessional, escorting the 
maid or matron of honor, then hurries to the place of the reception to take 
up his duties concerning the couple's luggage. This must be placed in the 
going-away car or assembled in a spot safe from pranksters. Car and bag- 
gage keys and baggage checks, sometimes the hotel key, if any, are given 
to the groom after he has changed into his sack suit. 



At the wedding reception the best man hovers in the neighborhood of 
the groom, acting as his secretary, reminding him to say something special 
to the bride's Aunt Mathilde, who is about to come down the line. He 
proposes the first toast to the bride and groom at the bridal table and 
reads congratulatory telegrams. 

When the bride and groom are ready to dress for their departure the 
best man again valets the groom and sees that nothing has been forgotten. 
He fetches both sets of parents and any other close relatives for the farewell 
upstairs. Then he clears the way through the guests for the bride and groom, 
who, all goodbyes to their families said, race through a rain of confetti or 
rose petals (rather than rice, let's hope) to the waiting car or cab (also 
scheduled to be there at the exact moment by the best man). Then, and 
then only, does the hard-working aide relax and join in the fun. You can 
see why the best man does not stand on the receiving line. 

duties of ushers The duties of ushers at a church wedding are quite definite, 
but ushers at a home wedding serve in a more or less honorary capacity as 
there is little, if any, formal seating to do. Usually, standards, flower deco- 
rated or not, are placed so they will mark off with white ribbon the areas 
where guests are to stand. Immediately after the ceremony it is the ushers' 
work to remove the ribbons and standards, so guests may leave. 

Ushers should arrive at the church an hour before the ceremony, leaving 
their hats and outer coats, if any, in the vestry but retaining their gloves. 
In the vestry they receive their boutonnieres furnished by the groom 
which are their badge of office and should be in place before the ushers 
enter the church. 

Ushers group themselves to the left of the door inside the church, prefer- 
ably in the vestibule if it is large enough. Each of them should be armed 
with a list of guests to be seated in reserved pews, but as guests rarely 
forget they have been honored by being assigned seats, these lists are 
rarely referred to unless, if pew cards were issued, a guest forgets to bring 
his. Unrecognized guests are asked their names and should themselves say 
"friend of the bride" or "friend of the groom," or the usher may ask the 
question so that they may be correctly seated on the left of the church 
for the bride, on the right for the groom. If as the church fills up it seems 
likely that the seating will not be balanced, the ushers seat later-arriving 
guests on the side that has fewer filled seats, regardless of the guest's 

An usher does not allow a lady to find her seat unescorted. If several 
guests arrive in a group, he offers his right arm to the eldest lady, and the 
others in the group follow singly, women first, and are seated together by 
the usher. If two women arrive at the same time, the younger steps back 
and permits the elder to take the usher's arm while she waits his return 
or accepts the services of the next available usher. 

Ushers should be gracious and seem unhurried even when, at a big wed- 
ding, they must seat a great many people. Bustle and self-importance are 


most inappropriate in church, so the groom should choose his attendants 
from among his most dignified friends, whose social presence can be counted 
upon. For, while an usher actually receives each guest and speaks a few 
gracious words as he goes up the aisle, he must not be too exuberant or, 
himself, more than part of the background of the principals the bride and 

The "head usher," usually a brother or other relative designated by the 
groom, escorts the bride's mother to her seat, and her entrance, always 
carefully timed, is the signal that the processional is about to start. It is after 
she is seated that the church doors are closed and the canvas, if any, is laid. 
After the bride's mother is in place no one else may be seated by ushers. 
Any late-comers must wait outside until after the ceremony is over or 
quickly seat themselves on aisle seats in the back of the church if the doors 
have not been closed. 

A male guest entering alone is seated by the usher, who naturally does 
not offer his arm unless the man is very aged and might have trouble nego- 
tiating the aisle alone. If two men arrive at the same time the usher walks 
down the aisle with the elder and the younger man follows so that he may 
be seated at the same time. 

Children that is, girls and boys under fifteen or sixteen follow along 
as their parents are ushered up the aisle. If there is time for such extra 
courtesy, an usher may escort a girl slightly under this age to her obvious 

After the bride's mother is seated and the canvas, if there is one, is down 
two designated ushers, starting with their left feet first, walk together up 
the aisle to the last reserved pews where white satin ribbons have been 
carefully folded and laid alongside of the decorated aisle posts. They pick 
up the entire bundle and, again in step, walk the length of the pews, as 
rehearsed, drawing the ribbons behind the aisle posts in a straight line, 
placing the loop at the end of each ribbon over the last aisle post. 

The ushers are then ready to take their places at the beginning of the pro- 
cession. Ushers always go up the aisle in pairs, but in the recessional it is 
optional for them to pair with the bridesmaids, if there is an equal number. 
The procedure is decided by the bride and the clergyman in the rehearsal. 
(See "The Rehearsal.") 

In a service wedding where the groom is a commissioned officer and 
only if he is brother officers in uniform acting as ushers make the arch of 
swords for the bride and groom either at the foot of the chancel steps at 
the end of the ceremony or, if the couple prefers, outside if the weather is 
good. In the first case, as soon as the ceremony is over the ushers line up 
and at the command "Draw Swords!" from the head usher unsheathe their 
swords and make the ceremonial arch for the bride and groom and for them 
only to pass through, then sheath their swords at the command "Return 
Swords!" and escort the bridesmaids down the aisle. If the arch is to be 
outside the church the bridesmaids go down the aisle alone and the ushers 



leave by the side door with the best man and go quickly around to the 
front of the church to form the arch as the bride and groom appear. 

Civilian and military personnel are sometimes together in a bridal party, 
but where some ushers and perhaps the groom are required to be in uni- 
form others conform to the proper formal dress for the time of day and 

If the arch of swords is used, civilian ushers line up, too, but merely stand 
at attention. 

Military ushers, because their swords are worn on the left side, offer 
their right arms to the bridesmaids at all times, and the bride stands to the 
right of the bridegroom when he is in full dress uniform. All ushers, civilian 
and military, in the recessional must then be on the right if they are paired 
with bridesmaids. 

(Military personnel never wear boutonnieres, even at weddings.) 

After the recessional the ribbons are left in place until the mothers of 
the bride and groom and at least some of the reserved pew guests have 
been escorted out. After the first few have gone down the aisle ushers often 
take out groups in order to clear the church more quickly. It is an extremely 
ill-mannered guest who, despite the ribbons restraining him on the aisle 
side, leaves from the far side of the church before the reserved pew guests 
have been escorted out and the ribbons removed. 

Ushers' duties are not over once they have completed their schedules at 
the church. They must see to it that the bridal party is transported to the 
reception, if there is one, well in advance of the first guests' arrival, and 
they should arrange transportation for any reception guests who may 
not have it. They have limited time to attend to these details, because, 
although they do not stand in the receiving line, they should be on hand 
as soon as possible for the wedding group pictures, which should be taken 
while everyone is still relatively fresh and can be accounted for. And as 
no guest should arrive and have to wait to be received, you can see that there 
is split-second timing even here. 

At the reception the ushers, at last, may relax and enjoy themselves. At 
a large formal reception caterers take charge of refreshments, but at a small 
one the ushers may help serve guests. They aid and abet the couple in a 
smooth getaway as the reception draws to a close, after the bride has thrown 
her bouquet to the waiting bridesmaids when she goes to change to her 
street clothes. 

Ushers, as members of the wedding party, always give gifts to the bride, 
individually, before the wedding or together give the couple some major 
gift from them all, with contributions to the fund tactfully geared to the 
circumstances of the least affluent usher. A silver tea tray, a chair, or coffee 
table things the new household needs are appropriate and better than 
separate gifts from each usher, as men are usually greatly befuddled as to 
what constitutes a suitable wedding gift. They are often visibly relieved 
if the bride, when asked, has a concrete suggestion along these lines. 



Bridesmaids always meet at the home of the bride before going to the 
church. They may dress there, if that seems advisable, or arrive dressed. If 
they are from out of town it is the duty of the bride's mother to find them 
accommodations either in her own home or with friends or, failing that, at 
a hotel, chaperoned. 

At the bride's home the attendants receive their bouquets. They should all 
be assembled a full hour before the ceremony and able, if necessary, to aid 
the bride in her dressing and her mother with the last-minute preparations 
for the reception. 

The mother of the bride, riding alone or with one or two bridesmaids, 
leaves the house first, followed by the bridesmaids and maid or matron of 
honor in hired limousines or their own cars. The bride, with her father, 
always rides in a special car, whose driver, or chauffeur, wears a white 
boutonniere. The car's tires, if not white-walled, are freshly whitewashed. 
The bride is very careful not to sit on her wedding gown or crease her veil. 

Arrangements are made beforehand with local police or uniformed 
attendants to keep traffic in order at a large wedding. As each car arrives it 
moves on to a designated parking space. The bride's car, however, remains 
in front of the church just where it dispatched her and her father, until she 
re-enters it with the groom. 


Both bride and groom give their attendants some lasting memento of the 
occasion the groom at his bachelor dinner, the bride at any convenient time 
before the wedding when all her attendants are together. The gifts are 
usually silver or gold something that can be engraved with the date and 
the ; nitials of the recipients. Desk accessories silver inkwells, paper weights, 
or letter openers or the more usual cigarette boxes are suitable for both 
maids and ushers. Brides often give charms for bracelets or tiny gold or 
silver pencils or silver snuff boxes (now used for pills). Gifts for ushers 
should be all alike, as are those for the bridesmaids. The chief attendants 
receive the same kind of gift varied a little in design or size a giant cigarette 
box or cocktail shaker for the best man, say, and a bracelet for the maid 
or matron of honor instead of a charm. 


On or just before her wedding day the bride receives some personal gift 
from the groom usually something to wear. Loveliest is a string of pearls, 
but the modern bride if her husband can afford it may think in terms of 
a mink coat or her own roadster. A piece of heirloom jewelry, a fitted travel- 
ing case, or a watch are all possibilities very expensive or fairly inexpensive 
ones, as the groom's circumstances permit. 



The bride, in turn, makes some gift to the groom, too a silver dresser set, 
cuff links, her wedding picture in a silver frame, or anything of somewhat 
lasting quality for which he will have personal use. 


Two or three nights before the wedding certainly not the night before 
it is still customary for the groom to give a bachelor dinner to his best man 
and ushers and perhaps many or few other men friends, usually in a private 
dining room of a restaurant or club or in the groom's bachelor quarters if he 
has them. 

We usually forget that the groom, too, probably enters marriage with 
some trepidation, and therefore the bachelor dinner, no doubt, serves to 
bolster his courage. It was in past generations supposed to allow him a 
final fling, and it produced a certain "morning after" in everyone attending. 

Today, with pre-marriage relationships on a more relaxed plane, the 
groom has less need, perhaps, to blow off steam at his bachelor dinner and, 
if he has one at all, it is likely to be a quiet stag affair, distinguished, of 
course, at the end by the expected toast to the bride. For the toast the 
groom rises and with him all the men at the table. He raises his glass, tradi- 
tionally filled with champagne, and says, simply, "To the bride." Each man 
drains (normally, champagne is sipped, of course) his glass and replaces it 
on the table, instead of snapping its fragile stem as was formerly customary. 
Many restaurants, well understanding the bachelor-dinner urge to break the 
glasses to honor the bride, are still willing to provide the cheapest possible 
glasses, billing the host for the breakage if it does occur. But any modern 
bride will feel just as honored if the glasses remain intact, I am sure. 

Today's bride is, especially in smaller communities, very likely to make 
her own farewell to the single life by dining with her bridal attendants or 
alone with her best friend. Customarily she always spends the night before 
her wedding with her immediate family. If she does give a "maiden dinner" 
it usually takes place the evening of the bachelor dinner in some restaurant 
or club or in the bride's home. At this time, if she wishes, she can give 
her attendants their gifts and propose a toast to the groom. 

bride's dress for the wedding 

For a formal winter wedding in church or at home the bride wears a full- 
length bridal gown in a variety of possible materials satin, velvet, taffeta, 
chiffon, tulle, and lace. All of them except the velvet can be worn for a 
summer wedding, plus a wide variety of summer cottons, from organdy to 

The formal wedding gown is usually white or ivory (though delicate 
blue or pink are sometimes seen) with or without a full-length veil of tulle, 
lace, or other sheer material. A finger-tip veil is often used on even the 


most formal gown, but a veil may be dispensed with entirely, so long as 
a bride wears a flower circlet on her head. In a simple country church, 
however, I saw a charming bride go to the altar bareheaded, because she 
never wore a hat of any kind. The kindly and liberal minister said he saw 
no reason why God should be displeased if she did what was for her the 
natural thing. 

A wedding gown should follow a certain decorum neckline conservative 
and sleeves preferably long. If the sleeves are fairly short, this necessitates 
the wearing of long gloves, which may not be removed during the ceremony. 
Instead, the under seam of the ring finger is ripped, so the bride can bare 
her finger to receive the ring. The bride who chooses a long-sleeved gown 
doesn't wear gloves. 

The bride's shoes are white silk or satin, her orange blossoms preferably 
artificial and wiltless, and any jewelry she wears is real and more or less 
functional. She might wear a strand of pearls or a simple pin or clip, but she 
wouldn't wear even a tiny diamond-studded watch or bracelet. She might 
wear simple pearl earrings or small gold ones, but she would avoid chi-chi. 

In place of a bridal bouquet (furnished by the groom) the bride may 
carry a white prayer book, with or without a flower and ribbon marker. 

If she wears her engagement ring to the altar it is on her right hand, as 
the wedding band, once put on, is, at least traditionally, never removed. 

At an informal church or home wedding the bride wears a simple dress or 
suit (not black) through noon, a dressmaker suit or afternoon dress, later. 

should the bride wear a family gown? It is traditional in some families that 
each generation's brides wear a family gown that has served this romantic 
purpose before. But no one should assume that a bride will prefer to carry 
on such a tradition or even wear her mother's own gown rather than have 
her very own. It is the bride who should decide, and any suggestions that she 
wear other than her own gown should be very tentative indeed. No family 
pressure should be permitted, for a bride certainly has the right to make 
such an important decision herself. And if she decides in favor of a modern 
gown, it is the obligation of her mother to protect her from criticism by 
unthinking Aunt Nellies. 

how practical should a wedding gown be? Most brides abandon any 
thought of practicality when choosing a wedding gown. If a great deal of 
money goes into it, they like to think that it may become a family heirloom 
their daughters and granddaughters will wear. However, modern living has 
created its own storage problems, and it is better, no doubt, to choose the 
kind of gown that can be remade by a clever seamstress into a dinner or 
evening dress. If a white dress the first year or so of marriage seems a little 
obvious, it can very well be dyed. If it is to be dyed, the dyeing should 
take place before the remodeling, as the fabric will probably shrink. It is 
more practical to save the veil for future generations than the dress, as 
wedding veils change very little while dresses change considerably. Think 



of the bride of the twenties with her knee-length gown she thought her 
granddaughter would be able to wear! 
superstitions Most brides like to follow the age-old superstition that they must 
wear "something old, something new, something borrowed, and something 
blue." Some walk down the aisle with a shiny dime in place of the traditional 
sixpence in their shoe. Many brides, however, scoff at the idea that bad luck 
will befall them if they rehearse their own weddings, and they seldom have 
"stand-ins." Rice, sometimes painful when thrown too enthusiastically at 
weddings, is usually replaced today by confetti or rose petals furnished by 
the bride's family. Anything of the sort should be thrown only outside the 


For a formal wedding in which the bride wears a bridal gown the groom 
must wear formal clothes daytime or evening clothes depending on the 
hour of the ceremony. If the wedding is in the morning or afternoon up 
to 7 p.m. the groom wears a cutaway with gray striped trousers, gray vest 
(in summer natural or white linen with spats and gloves to match), a wing 
collar with ascot or cravat in black and white, or he may wear a director's 
jacket and turned-down stiff collar. Today when a wing collar is worn with 
the cutaway at a wedding, it is worn only by the groom and best man. He 
also wears black shoes with black soles (soles are blackened by the shoe- 
maker so they will not be noticeable when the groom kneels), black socks, 
gray gloves (or, in summer, a color to match vest), and a high silk hat. His 
boutonniere is distinctive from that of the other men in the bridal party- 
lilies of the valley or a gardenia preferably. This is, traditionally, a spray 
from the bridal bouquet. 

In the summer for country weddings, white flannels and navy coats may 
replace the cutaways for formal wear when the bride is in full regalia. The 
tie is blue, the shoes pure white, the collar stiff, turned over. No gloves. 
For an outdoor wedding a white linen or Palm Beach suit may be worn 
with a white or light tie. 

For an informal morning or afternoon wedding, when the bride wears a 
veil the groom wears a single- or double-breasted Oxford gray coat, striped 
trousers, a white shirt with stiff collar, a gray tie, black shoes and socks, 
a black or gray felt, and a distinctive white boutonniere. 

For an informal wedding in the morning or afternoon, when the bride 
does not wear a veil the groom wears a dark business suit in blue or gray, 
a white shirt with a white fold collar, a conservative tie, a derby or Hom- 
burg, gray gloves, and his own special boutonniere. In the summer he wears 
a light-weight wool suit in gray or blue with white shirt and black shoes, or 
a Palm Beach suit, conservative tie, white shirt, light socks, and white shoes. 

For formal evening weddings after 7 p.m. the groom wears a tail coat, 
as do all the male members of the wedding party. He wears his own 
boutonniere to distinguish him from the others and an opera or high silk 
hat. For a smaller, less formal wedding in the evening, a dinner jacket is 


permissible and the groom's boutonniere essential. If the bride wears street 
clothes for an evening wedding the groom wears a dark business suit, black 
shoes. If the bride wears a dinner dress the groom wears a tuxedo. 
the walking stick The crook-handled Malacca walking stick is customarily 
carried by the groom, best man, and ushers when they are in cutaways, 
but it is no longer considered essential. 


Ushers at a wedding dress alike and for formal afternoon weddings wear 
identical ties and gloves that the groom gives them. The ties for the ushers 
may be gray four-in-hands instead of ascots and worn either with a wing 
or fold collar. Groom and best man always wear either brocaded gray or 
black and silver-gray striped grosgrain ascots for formal daytime weddings, 
but their cravats need not match. As sack coats with striped trousers are 
slightly less formal than the cutaway, groom and best man usually wear 
the cutaway, even when the ushers wear the more modern type of formal 
daytime dress. (See "The Morning Coat or Cutaway.") The maid or matron 
of honor is dressed in slightly different fashion from the bridesmaids, with a 
dress that is either of the same design but a different color or of the same 
color but of a little different design. All attendants' dresses may be alike, with 
different flowers or headdresses distinguishing the maid or matron of honor. 
The bridesmaids and maid or matron of honor wear dresses the same length 
as the bride's and, as nearly always required, some head covering either 
hats, Juliet caps, or flower headdresses. The slippers of all attendants are 
alike in fabric and style, but the maid or matron of honor may have slippers 
of a different color to match her dress if it is another color. In the formal 
wedding party only the bride may be gloveless, as usually her veil or sleeves 
partially cover her hands. The long sweeping train has virtually disappeared 
and with it the train bearers. If there is to be a "junior bridesmaid" or 
"maiden of honor," her costume should go well with those of the bridesmaids 
and yet should be suited to her own years. Her dress should be veiy much 
like a dancing school dress, probably full of skirt and with puffed sleeves and 
a simple modest neckline. Even her headdress need not be too much like that 
of the bridesmaids, especially if theirs is relatively sophisticated. Often a 
wreath of flowers seems most suitable for a girl of this age. Her shoes should 
be the sort that she would normally wear to dancing school, perhaps black 
patent, one-strap slippers. Unless she is tall for her age, a girl from ten to 
twelve looks better in socks than in stockings. Flower girls, dressed in pic- 
ture-book style, are more often seen in formal weddings than page boys, 
possibly because little girls are amenable to "dressing up." Little boys tend to 
think their manhood impugned by frilly blouses and satin knee breeches or 
long tight velvet trousers of the Dickens era. If either or both small attend- 
ants are used, they should not be so young as to create more problems. A 
flower girl has no function except that of looking picturesque, but a page boy 
bears the ring for safety's sake not the real one on a little white satin 
pillow. The real ring is snug in the best man's pocket. Flower girls and page 



boys may be in white or be dressed in pastel shades that match or comple- 
ment those of the bridesmaids. While period costumes are used, a page boy 
could wear a dark blue Eton suit and a flower girl could wear a party dress 
and white or colored slippers to match or, with a colored dress, possibly to 
contrast. Her bouquet should be diminutive or she may carry a basket of 
rose petals. And even she must have some little head covering in most 

If there is a ring bearer, see that the ring is fastened to the cushion with 
light silken stitches, especially if precaution has been thrown to the winds 
and the real ring is borne by the child. If the actual ring is on the cushion 
the ring bearer carries, then he will, necessarily, have to remain throughout 
the ceremony. If he has been used merely for effect, however, it is quite 
simple for him to leave the procession as it reaches the mother's pew. As 
children in the processional are usually under seven, they should not stand 
with the other attendants during the ceremony but should join the bride's 
mother in her pew and not be in the recessional. 

For an informal wedding attendants, if any, wear the same kind of clothes 
as the principals, geared to the season, the place of the ceremony, and the 
time of day. Guests wear conservative Sunday best, the women in hats and 


When the groom wears formal day or evening wear the fathers of the bride 
and groom dress as he does, as do all the male members of the wedding 
party. Men guests at a formal daytime wedding may or may not wear cut- 
aways or sack coats with striped trousers, as they choose. Younger men 
usually wear dark blue or Oxford gray suits. 

At a formal daytime wedding the mothers of the bride and groom may 
wear soft suits or ensembles in pale or pastel faille, taffeta, satin, or silk, 
or any delicately colored taffeta, satin, or silk afternoon dress in the current 

For a formal evening wedding women members of the wedding party 
wear evening-length dresses and mothers of the bride and groom wear 
long- or three-quarter-sleeved dinner or evening dresses in any color but 
black, red, or possibly green, which by some is considered unlucky at wed- 
dings. Accessories should not be black, and some headdress should be worn 
perhaps an evening hat, a mantilla, or a twist of tulle. Women guests may 
wear dinner dresses or afternoon wear. 

At a formal evening wedding men related to the family wear white tie, 
as do many older men, but it is usual for young men to wear dinner jackets 
if they are not actually in the wedding party. 

At informal weddings guests wear conservative church-going clothes suit- 
able to the season. The women wear hats and gloves. 


The groom's boutonniere is, as I have mentioned before, traditionally a 


spray from the bridal bouquet and is usually lily of the valley, if in season. 
But his boutonniere differs from that of the best man and the ushers. 

The bridal bouquet is usually white, although, especially with pastel bridal 
gowns, sometimes other pale-colored flowers are included. It may encircle 
a going-away corsage if the flowers come from a florist skilled at making 
these corsages-within-bouquets so they merely untie when the bride wishes 
to toss away the rest of her bouquet. The corsage included in the bridal 
bouquet saves the groom the expense of a separate corsage and "fills out" 
the bouquet at no extra cost. 

The attendants' bouquets carried only with long gowns are usually Colo- 
nial or wrist bouquets, more graceful to manage in a procession than the 
old-fashioned arm bouquets. If attendants and bride are in street-length 
gowns corsages take the place of bouquets. 

Attendants' bouquets may be anything seasonal that complements their 
gowns. At a beautiful Christmas season wedding all the attendants were in 
white velvet and carried wrist bouquets of poinsettias. A country garden 
wedding might find the bridesmaids carrying Colonial bouquets of purple 
or blue iris or blue cornflowers or even field daisies. 


Engraved invitations and announcements 

The bridal outfit and, though it is no longer expected, the costumes of the 

bride's attendants if money is no object 
Bridal photographs 

The bridal consultant and social secretary, if needed 
The bride's trousseau 
The household trousseau 
All the cost of the reception 
Flowers for the reception 

Flowers for the bride and her attendants (but see "Groom's Expenses") 
Music at the church and at the reception 
Sexton's and organist's fee. Choir fee 
Carpets, ribbons, awnings, tents anything of the kind often rented for large 

weddings and receptions 
A limousine for the bride, at least, and other cars for the transportation of 

the bridal party to and from church 
A wedding gift of substance, usually silver 

groom's expenses 

The wedding ring 

The marriage license 

The bride's flowers (the bridal bouquet if she wears a bridal gown, or a 

corsage. Going-away corsage may be the heart of the bridal bouquet, or 

supplied separately) 



His own and the ushers' boutonnieres 
Corsage for his mother 
The ushers' gloves, ties, and collars 
Gifts for the ushers 
The minister's fee 

A wedding gift for his bride something for her to treasure, usually jewelry 
His bachelor dinner 
The entire cost of the wedding trip 
His own wedding and wedding trip clothes 

The home into which they will move and the equipping of it with its major 

note: In large formal weddings the bride's flowers and those of the brides- 
maids are considered part of the entire wedding expense and thus borne by 
the bride's parents. It is becoming customary however for the groom to send 
the bride's bouquet, though she selects it, and to provide, of course, his own 
and the best man's and the ushers' boutonnieres. In some communities the 
groom pays for the entire bridal party flowers as well as for corsages for both 




All weddings with more than two attendants must be rehearsed two or 
three days before the event and at the convenience of the clergyman, or in 
large churches the sexton, who must be present with the organist and any 
other participants. 

Often the rehearsal is held in the evening, preceded by a dinner for the 
bridal party at the home of the bride. 

which arm does the bride take? This is always settled at the rehearsal and 
depends on the preference of the minister. It is more convenient at a formal 
wedding for the bride to go up the aisle on her father's right arm, so that 
when his role is completed and he must return to the left front pew to stand 
with her mother he does not have to cross over the bride's train but will be 
already on the convenient side. However, some ministers prefer the other 

I procedure in which the bride comes down the aisle on her father's left arm. 
(In all recessionals the bride takes the groom's arm and ushers offer their 
arms to bridesmaids. ) The clergyman's ruling is the deciding one. 

processional, Christian Ceremony 

Reading from top down: Bride and her 
father. Sometimes father is on bride's 
right (see text). 

Flower girl or page boy, if any, or flower 
girl and page, page on same side as 

Maid or matron of honor. If there are 
both, they may walk together or the 
younger may precede the elder. 

Bridesmaids. Shorter ones precede taller 
and are paired according to height. 

Ushers. Shorter ones precede taller and 
are paired according to height. 

At the chancel steps: best man, groom, 





Ushers are paired, as are bridesmaids, so that the shorter ones precede the 
taller. They learn that they do not actually "march" but walk in time, slowly, 
left foot first down the aisle, keeping four pews apart, and after a little 
coaching they manage to deliver the bride to the chancel steps at the mo- 
ment the music stops playing. The bride, no longer afraid to rehearse at her 
own wedding, counts eight beats of the music before she follows the attend- 
ants on her father's right arm. 



recessional, Christian Ceremony, 
Optional Arrangement 

right panel, Reading from top 
down: Groom and bride. In a 
service wedding men are on 
bride's right. In other weddings 
this is sometimes done too (see 

Flower girl or page, if any, or 
second honor attendant, if any. 

Best man and maid or matron of 
honor. Ushers and bridesmaids 
paired, only if they are equal in 

far right panel, Reading from 
top down: Groom and bride. 

Flower girl or second honor at- 
tendant, if any. (Very small 
children do not appear in re- 
cessional necessarily.) 

Maid of honor. 

Bridesmaids alone always when 
there is .not an equal number of 

Ushers alone. 







No words of the ceremony are spoken during the rehearsal, although the 
minister (or the sexton) indicates at what point each member of the party 
plays his role. The best man learns just when he must produce the ring from 
his vest pocket or, better, his little finger. The maid or matron of honor notes 
at what point she takes the bride's bouquet or prayer book. The bride's 
father or in some cases her mother learns when the bride is to be "given 


Most rehearsed of all will be the ushers, who, if it is to be a large wedding, 
will have real work to do. Two ushers, chosen for the honor, will be shown 
how to handle the ribbons and, if there is to be one, how to lay the canvas 
at the right moment. It is at the rehearsal that bride and clergyman, or 
sexton, decide how the recessional is to go. Bride and groom always lead in 
the recessional, but it is optional whether or not the ushers and bridesmaids 
pair up or return as they were in the processional, but this time with the 
bride's attendants immediately following the couple, in the proper order, 


then the ushers walking together. If there is an uneven number of ushers 
the extra man walks alone and the second variation of the recessional is 
preferred. I prefer to see the attendants paired in the recessional, if possible, 
as such pairing after the ceremony seems symbolic of other possible ro- 
mances springing from this wedding as so often happens. 

In the recessional the father is missing he has joined the mother in the 
first pew as soon as he has given the bride away. 


When a church has two main aisles one may be used for the processional, 
one for the recessional. When each is given the same importance the pew 
posts are decorated exactly alike. If it is decided that one aisle is to be used 
for both processional and recessional, the other aisle is used only for seating 
of guests and is not specially decorated. If one aisle is chosen, the grouping 
at the chancel is on the side of that aisle. When both aisles are given equal 
importance the grouping at the chancel is as it is for a church with a center 


In Christian wedding ceremonies the left side is the bride's, as one enters, 
the right, the groom's. The family and friends of the bride are, therefore, 
on the left of the church, and the groom's are on the right. 

As the bride approaches the chancel the clergyman stands at the entrance 
to the altar and the groom, facing slightly into the nave, is on the right, ready 
to step forward to assist the bride up the chancel step or steps. Below and 
behind him a little to the right is the best man. On the left of the chancel as 


grouping at the altar, Protestant Ceremony: 1. Groom, 2. bride, 3. bride's 
father, 4. maid or matron of honor, 5. best man, 6. clergyman. Figures far 
left and right, ushers, maids of honor, note: In the Roman Catholic cere- 
mony the bride's father joins her mother in the first pew as he reaches it. 
He does not give the bride away. Otherwise the grouping at the chancel 
is the same, with the addition of an acolyte (see text). 



the bride approaches stands her maid or matron of honor in the same position 
as the best man. Ushers, if any, are lined up below the choir stalls on each 
side of the chancel with the maids of honor usually in front of them and on 
a slanting line. In a small church it may be necessary to place only two 
ushers on the chancel steps, one left, one right, the rest on the floor of the 
church, flanking the chancel, but many variations of these groupings are 

In some ceremonies namely the Catholic and the Episcopal the bride 
and groom follow the clergyman to the altar and may kneel at an indicated 
point in the ceremony. They are followed by the maid and matron of honor, 
if there are both in attendance, with the maid on the immediate left of the 
bride and the matron on the far left of the bride, so that it is the maid who 
assists with the bouquet and veil. The best man on the immediate right of 
the groom is followed by the ring bearer, if any, at far right, a few feet 
behind. When the clergyman asks for the ring, the best man produces it 
from his vest pocket or, better, his little finger. In the Catholic service he 
proffers it to the groom, who hands it to the acolyte, who in turn gives it to 
the priest, who blesses it. In the Protestant ceremony and the Episcopal 
service or some variation of it is often used in Presbyterian and Congrega- 
tional churches, too he hands the ring to the groom, who gives it to the 
minister for the blessing. 

During the blessing of the ring or, if preferred, as soon as maid and ma- 
tron of honor (or just the one attendant) are in place the bride hands her 

at the altar rah,, Roman Catholic and Epis- 
copal Ceremony, Optional Arrangements: 
1. Priest, 2. acolyte (Roman Catholic serv- 
ice), 3. bride, 4. groom, 5. best man, 
6. matron of honor, note: In elaborate 
Roman Catholic ceremonies the entire wed- 
ding party sometimes enters the sanctuary in 
a large church. In some churches this is not 
permitted and only the bride, groom, priest, 
and acolyte enter the sanctuary. 

bouquet or prayer book to the attendant chosen for the honor, so that her 
left hand will be free to receive the wedding ring. 

As soon as the marriage service is completed the bride turns first to the 
maid or matron of honor for her bouquet and to have her face veil, if she 
has one, lifted. She then turns, and, although this is not part of the cere- 
mony, receives the groom's kiss if they have decided to kiss at the altar (see 
"When Does the Groom Kiss the Bride?"), and the good wishes of the 
clergyman, who usually shakes hands with both bride and groom. 

The bride then turns and takes the groom's right arm, and after the maid 
of honor has adjusted her train together they lead off in the recessional. 

6 7 

when does the bride take the groom's arm? In the wedding ceremony, 
although the groom takes a step or two forward to meet the bride and may 
take her arm to assist her to kneel, if that is part of the ceremony, the bride 
does not take the groom's arm or place her hand in his until the moment in 
the ceremony at which this is indicated. In some ceremonies the clergyman 
places the bride's hand in the groom's, in others the father or sometimes 
the mother makes this symbolic gesture. At other times the bride needs her 
hands free to arrange her gown for kneeling, to hand her prayer book or 
jouquet to her attendant. The groom may assist her to rise from a kneeling 
position, but she must not touch him until the proper moment. 

when does the groom kiss the brtde? At large formal church weddings 
it is not usual for the groom to kiss the bride at the altar after the clergyman 
has congratulated the couple at the end of the ceremony. But if the couple 
is to receive in the church vestibule or if the marriage takes place at home, 
the groom always kisses the bride immediately following the ceremony, as 
no one may kiss the bride before he does. The clergyman, if he has long 
been an intimate of the family, may be the next to have the privilege, but 
on the receiving line the bride is kissed only by those who really have the 
right to offer this intimate form of salutation. Gay blades and old codgers, 
impelled to kiss the bride merely because they think custom sanctions it, 
should check their exuberance and wait for the suggestion, if any, to come 
from the bride or the groom. The latter might be heard to say, "Darling, 
this is Alfred, my old roommate remember and he's dying to kiss you, of 
course. So I'll permit it this once!" 


No attendant asks to be excused from the bridal party except for some very 
good reason illness or such a recent death in his or her immediate family 
that burial does not take place before the wedding day. In any case, the 
bride or groom is faced with a difficult problem in trying to replace the 
missing attendant. It may be easier for them to leave the bridal party as it 
is and let the uneven usher walk alone, if it's a man who's missing, or the 
extra bridesmaid precede the maid or matron of honor alone in the proces- 
sional. The friend who is asked at the very last minute to fill in at anything 
so formal as a bridal procession may well be accepting at considerable in- 
convenience, while wondering why he was not asked to be a member of the 
party from the beginning. 


When both bride and groom give each other rings the question often arises 
as to who holds the groom's ring until the proper moment. It is the maid 
or matron of honor who is in charge of the groom's ring just as the best 
man is always responsible for the bride's until the moment the groom slips 
it on her finger. The bride's attendant wears the groom's ring for safekeeping. 



If it won't stay on any finger it should be tied with a small white satin ribbon 
to her sash or belt, her bouquet or her left wrist, so she can get it off easily. 
A man's wedding ring was customarily worn on the right hand, but in 
recent years, when the double ring ceremony became very popular during 
wartime, the ring was placed on the man's left hand. So now it is worn 
on the third finger of either the right or left hand, whichever the bride and 
bridegroom prefer. The groom's ring is always a gift from the bride. As it is 
gold and perfectly plain, it may not necessarily match hers, as it used to. 


If the bride's father is dead the bride's mother may give her away if a 
brother, an uncle, or some other male relative hasn't been selected for the 
honor. There are several ways this may be done. Either the bride's mother 
may walk down the aisle with her daughter but not, of course, with the 
bride on her arm or the bride may walk in the processional with her brother 
or other male relative and her mother will join her as the bride reaches the 
left front pew. Sometimes the bride walks alone in the processional and her 
mother joins her as she reaches her mother's pew. Still again, a male relative 
will escort the bride to the chancel steps and when the clergyman asks who 
is to give the bride away the mother nods from her traditional place or, just 
before the words are to be spoken, is escorted to the chancel by the best 
man, who steps down for the gesture. This is necessary only in those cere- 
moniesthe Episcopalian, for example where the one who "gives the bride 
away" actually places her hand in the minister's. 


In the weddings of mature brides widows or divorcees it is not necessary 
that they be "given away," and this portion of the ceremony is often omitted, 
just as it is in civil ceremonies when there are no designated attendants, 
merely legal witnesses. 

But the older woman who has a church wedding usually chooses to be 
escorted to the church by some male relative or close family friend, also 
male, although she may arrive with the best man, the groom, and her own 
attendant. She does not walk up the church aisle but waits with the groom, 
best man, and maid of honor in the vestry until the clergyman is ready, then 
is escorted to her place at the chancel by the best man, while the groom 
escorts the maid or matron of honor. 


Double weddings with the brides in formal wedding gowns are most im- 
pressive. Sometimes the brides are sisters who wish to marry at the same 
time, occasionally cousins, or just close friends, although in some denomina- 
tions the brides must be related. The double wedding does not, of course, 


processional at double wedding, Chris- 
tian Ceremony, Optional Arrangement 
Reading from top down: Younger bride 
with father or substitute (see text) if 
brides are sisters. 

Maid or matron of honor of younger 

Bridesmaids of younger bride. 

Senior bride and father. 

Maid or matron of honor of senior bride. 

Bridesmaids of elder bride. 

Ushers paired according to height. 

recessional at double wedding, Chris- 
tian Ceremony, Optional Arrangement 
Reading from top down: Elder bride and 

Younger bride and groom. 

Maids and matrons of honor of both 
brides, paired. 

Ushers of elder bride paired with brides- 
maids of elder brides. 

Ushers of younger bride paired with 
bridesmaids of younger bride, or they 
may go out as they came in. 

/ s, 





have to be formal, and the brides, whether in formal attire or in simple 
traveling suits or street dresses, need not be dressed alike. 

In a formal double wedding if each bride and groom have separate 
attendants it is necessary that they have the same number and that the 
costumes of the brides' attendants at least harmonize with each other. Some- 
times sisters have the same attendants. The brides may act as maid and 
matron of honor for each other, or each may have separate honor attendants. 
The grooms, too, may act as best men for each other, or each have his own 
best man. 

In a double wedding all the ushers are paired according to height in the 
processional. They are followed by the elder's bridesmaids, then her maid or 
matron of honor, then comes the senior bride on her father's arm, followed 
by the bridesmaids of the younger bride. After them comes the maid or 
matron of honor of the younger bride, then the bride herself on her father's 
arm, unless she is a sister of the elder bride. In that case a brother or other 
male relative escorts her. 

In the recessional the elder bride, who was married first, leads down the 
chancel steps with her groom and is followed by the younger bride with her 
groom. The attendants follow in the proper order those of the first bride, 
first, or paired with those of the second bride if an equal number makes it 
possible. Otherwise, they leave as they arrived. 

If a church has two aisles, each bridal party may have its own, timing the 
entrance and exit together. 

All the ushers of both groups must be identically dressed, even when the 
bridesmaids' costumes differ for each bride. The only time, by the way, 
ushers may ever be dressed differently is when civilians and military men 
serve together. 

The mothers of the brides are escorted up the aisle by ushers in the usual 
way just before the ceremony begins, with the mother of the elder bride 
coming first. In entering the first pew they leave room between them for 
the fathers. 


It is poor taste for children of a first marriage to even attend the marriage 
of either parent the second time, if a divorce has taken place. It is quite 
incorrect for children to attend their mother in a second marriage if she has 
been divorced. They may be present, or attend her, only if she has been 
widowed. Where there is remarriage after divorce and there are children of 
a previous marriage old enough to understand and perhaps resent all the 
implications of the new marriage, it is certainly more tactful to be married 
without any but the necessary legal witnesses than to have a small wedding 
from which the children must be excluded. Etiquette has been devised over 
the centuries to cushion our sensibilities. In cases such as this we should 
never forget that children have the most acute sensibilities of all. 



If a woman has reached her late thirties, then marries for the first time, 
should she wear a wedding veil and have a formal wedding? Many women 
of nearly forty today look very much younger. If such a bride feels she can 
still wear the bridal gown on which she's planned so long and still look her 
very best, let her wear it. She may find ivory, champagne, or pale blue more 
becoming than pure white. But if she plans to have bridesmaids and must 
consider that her close friends, presumably of the same age, may not look 
their best in the traditional costumes of bridesmaids, she may decide to wear 
the prettiest afternoon gown she can find, or the most becoming traveling 
suit, and forgo the luxury of a wedding gown and formal wedding. 


It is interesting to see how essentially alike are the marriage services of 
different religions. Most Christian ceremonies are similar with but minor 
differences. As the Christian ceremony developed from that of the ancient 
Jews, there is between Jewish and Christian ceremonies a definite similarity. 

the roman catholic ceremony In the Roman Catholic ceremony the father 
does not give the bride away, although he does accompany her up the 
church aisle. As he reaches his own pew he steps into it, leaving the bride to 
make the few steps to the altar with the bridegroom, who comes forward to 
assist her. The ring is blessed first by the priest before it is given to the 
groom. Sometimes the entire wedding party enters the sanctuary for the 
service, with the bride on the left arm of the groom. Some priests prefer that 
only the couple enter the sanctuary for the blessing of the ring (with an 
acolyte managing the bridal train), then return to the chancel steps for the 
balance of the ceremony. 

Only if both bride and groom are Catholics may the marriage be cele- 
brated before the church altar. Otherwise, by special dispensation, a Cath- 
olic and non-Catholic marry in the church rectory, sacristy, or even in the 
church, but the marriage must be performed by a Catholic priest. Marriages 
of Catholics and non-Catholics are also performed at home or elsewhere by 
special permission, again with a priest officiating. 

Civil marriage involving a Catholic is not recognized by the Catholic 
Church. In mixed marriages performed by a Catholic priest, in which one 
is a Catholic and one a non-Catholic, the non-Catholic must agree to raise 
children in the Catholic faith. It is not usual for a Catholic priest to perform 
the marriage ceremony unless at least one of the two participants is Catholic. 

Jewish ceremonies The Jewish religion has three denominations the Ortho- 
dox, or traditional, whose rituals go back many, many centuries; the Conserva- 
tive, which is less strict; and the Reform, which is the most lenient of all and 
has among other things no interdictions concerning food. 

A friend once told me that in her opinion the very beauty and impressive- 



orthodox Jewish ceremony at altar, Optional Arrangement: 1. Rabbi, 
2. groom, 3. bride, 4. best man, 5. maid or matron or honor, 6. groom's 
father and mother, 7. bride's father and mother, 8. bridesmaids, in aisle, 
9. ushers, note: The arrangement of the wedding party is not a matter of 
rabbinical law but of social custom, hence it varies. For example, parents 
may be under the canopy if there is room. Sometimes only the fathers take 
part, and their placement is optional. 

ness of the Jewish wedding ceremony must be a vital factor in holding Jewish 
couples together for the Jewish divorce rate is the lowest of any religious 
group, even though divorce is not forbidden (as it is among Catholics). 

A rabbi of an Orthodox or Conservative synagogue will not marry divorced 
persons who have received only civil decrees. A religious divorce decree is also 
necessary. Reform Judaism gives religious recognition to a civil divorce and 
therefore does not require, in addition, a religious divorce. 

Before the ceremony the bride usually receives the wedding guests in an 
anteroom of the place where she is to be married. Seated with her attendants, 
she sees all but the groom before the ceremony. In liberal temples, however, 
she may even see him. 

The Orthodox wedding ceremony begins with three benedictions "The 
Betrothal Benedictions." This is followed by the Ring Ceremony; then the 
reading of the marriage contract "Kesubah," which is in Aramaic. The "seven 
marriage benedictions" are then read. In some ceremonies musical partic- 
ipants, the cantor and the choir, may chant the responses and sing special 
nuptial songs. 



and recessional, Optional Ar- 

processional Reading from top 
down far left: Bride's mother, 
bride, bride's father. 

Flower girl or page, if any. 

Maid or matron of honor. 

Groom's mother (left), groom, 
groom's father. 

Best man. 

Babbi, not in processional or re- 
cessional if ceremony takes place 
in a temple or synagogue. 

recessional left: Bride and groom. 

Bride's parents. 

Groom's parents. 

(Flower girl or page not in re- 
cessional, necessarily. ) 

Maid or matron of honor and 
best man. 

Babbi. note: In Jewish cere- 
mony the left side is the bride's. 
Attendants, if any, come up the 
aisle, paired, before the rabbi 
and may form a guard of honor 
through which the procession 

When the Orthodox ceremony is held in a synagogue the bride stands to 
the groom's right before the Ark of the Covenant, which corresponds to the 
altar, with its cross or crucifix, of most Christian faiths. The bride wears the 
traditional wedding gown and veil in a formal ceremony exactly like that of 
the Christian bride. She has the same attendants, too maid or matron of honor 
and bridesmaids if she wishes. Sometimes both fathers and both mothers take 
part in the ceremony and in the processional accompany the bride and groom. 
In the recessional both mothers and fathers may walk together side by side. 
( See illustration. ) 

In the Jewish ceremony it is usually the right side of the synagogue or 
temple, as one enters, which is the bride's, the left, the groom's. However, 
this varies according to custom. In Beform practice, the right side of the 
synagogue, as one enters, is reserved for the groom's family and the left side 
for the family of the bride. Whether or not the ceremony takes place in a 
synagogue, the couple is wed beneath a canopy supported on standards and 



symbolizing home. Under the canopy with them stand the rabbi and, usually, 
their two principal attendants. If the canopy or chupah is large enough, the 
four parents stand beneath it too, otherwise they stand outside the fringe. 
Next to the rabbi, who faces the bride and groom, is a small covered table 
containing two cups of ritual wine and, for the Orthodox and Conservative 
ceremonies, two glasses wrapped with a snowy napkin. The service begins 
with the blessing of the wine. The service is in Hebrew and Aramaic in the 
Orthodox and Conservative synagogues. By law in some states, however, it is 
in English, with the rabbi's address to the couple either in Yiddish or in the 
language of the congregation. For, as not all Catholics understand all the 
Latin of their services, so Jews do not necessarily understand Hebrew and 
Aramaic. In the Reform practice most of the service is in English, only a few 
of the blessings are in Hebrew, and only one glass is used. 

After the wine is blessed the rabbi passes one glass of wine to the groom, 
who takes a sip and gives it to the bride. Then comes the ring ceremony with 
the ring, in the Orthodox ceremony, always plain gold. The best man hands 
it to the rabbi, who, in those states that require it, says in English, "Dost 
thou take this woman to be thy wedded wife?" receiving the usual responses 
in English. Then, in the Orthodox and Conservative services, the ring is placed 
on the bride's right index finger directly by the groom, though any time after 
the ceremony she may remove it and place it on what our Western society 
considers the proper wedding ring finger. In the Reform service the ring is 
placed on the bride's left ring finger. 

The ring ceremony is followed by the rabbi's short address in English (or 
the language of the congregation) to the couple on the sanctity of marriage 
and his own personal interest in their future welfare. 

Then comes the ceremonial drinking of the second glass of wine by both 
bride and groom. The Seventh Blessing, culminating in the Orthodox and 
Conservative services with the crushing of the second glass beneath the foot 
of the bridegroom, symbolizes the sacking of the Temple of Jerusalem and 
is an admonition to the congregation that despite the happiness of the occasion 
all should remember and work for the rebuilding of Zion. 

The reception-with-collation that follows Jewish weddings is exactly like 
other receptions except that a special nuptial grace is always offered after food. 

As in the Catholic ceremony, the Jewish does not require the father to give 
his daughter in marriage. In the Reform service, the father escorts his daugh- 
ter on his right arm up the aisle to the groom who, with his best man, awaits 
her at the altar. In the Orthodox and Conservative ceremony both sets of 
parents accompany the bride and groom respectively to the altar, taking their 
places under or near the chupah. In the Reform service the parents do not 
stand up with their children. 

In Orthodox and Conservative Jewish weddings all males in the assemblage 
must cover their heads. They wear the traditional skull caps or their own hats. 
Synagogues have skull caps available in the vestibule for men who arrive with- 
out their hats. In Orthodox synagogues men and women do not sit together 


except during a marriage ceremony. In both Reform temples and Conserva- 
tive synagogues men and women sit together and in the Reform temples men 
do not wear hats. 

In the Reform service the wedding canopy is not required, no glass is 
broken, and the rabbi does not read the marriage certificate in Aramaic. 

No Orthodox or Conservative rabbi ever officiates at a mixed marriage and 
many Reform rabbis will not. However, though Jews do not seek converts, 
the non-Jewish partner in a proposed mixed marriage may go through a 
period of instruction and then be taken into the Congregation as a Jew. 
Any rabbi may then perform the marriage. 

the christian science ceremony As Christian Science readers are not or- 
dained ministers of the church, merely elected officers, they may not perform 
the marriage ceremony. When members of the Christian Science faith are 
married, the ceremony is performed by an ordained minister of the gospel, 
legally authorized to perform such a duty, or by the proper legal authority. 

eastern orthodox weddings The Eastern Orthodox Church, the Holy East- 
ern Orthodox Catholic Apostolic Church, has numerous followers among 
White Russians, Greeks, Rumanians, and various Mediterranean groups in 
this country. It has many ceremonial forms similar to those of the Roman 
Catholic Church but does not acknowledge the Pope as its spiritual leader. 

It requires the publishing of banns on three successive Sundays, and some- 
times a brief betrothal service with the exchange of rings is held in the 

As in the Roman Catholic Church, the bride and groom must fast, make 
their confessions, and take Communion. The ceremony is celebrated without 
Mass and always takes place in either the afternoon or evening. 

In the Eastern Orthodox Church the ceremony does not take place at the 
altar but before a table placed in front of the sanctuary toward the center 
of the church. Relatively few of these churches have pews, a modern devel- 
opment, and guests must stand or kneel before and throughout the hour- 
long service. None but vocal music is permitted, and the bride enters to the 
special wedding hymns sung by the choir. The procession is like that in 
other Christian services. The father of the bride gives the bride away, then 
returns to the pew with her mother. 

In the Eastern Orthodox service the mystical number three, representing 
the Trinity, has great significance. The double ring ceremony is used with 
the rings placed on the right hands of the bride and groom. The priest 
blesses the rings three times at the altar, then places each ring first on the 
bride's finger, then on the groom's. Then the best man exchanges the rings 
three times on the fingers of the bride and groom. Just before the final vows 
are taken the priest binds the hands of the bride and groom together and 
leads them three times around the table, which holds the Bible, or Scripture, 
a cross, a chalice of wine, candles, and flowers. After the final blessing the 
choir chants "Many Years" three times, then the recessional starts. 



Throughout the ceremony the bride and groom hold lighted candles sym- 
bolizing the light of the Lord. During the ceremony the priest places gold 
crowns on their heads. 

These are only the highlights of this richly impressive ceremony, usual 
in all Eastern Orthodox unions. Only during emergencies is the ritual ever 

The Church makes divorce difficult and insists on a religious decree. Re- 
marriage of divorced persons is permitted. 

the Quaker ceremony Today a Quaker marriage ceremony may see the bride 
gowned traditionally and veiled, but these simple, unpretentious people 
believe in the renunciation of worldly display. Their ceremony is as plain 
as their meeting houses and impressive in its quiet sincerity. 

A Quaker wedding may take place in the meeting house or in a private 
home but notice of intention to wed is made by the couple at least one 
monthly meeting in advance of the date they have set. It is necessary for at 
least one of them to be a member of the Society of Friends. It is usual for 
the parents' permission to be appended to the letter of request, even when 
the couple is of age. After the letter has been read at the meeting a commit- 
tee of two women and two men is appointed to discuss with the bride and 
groom, respectively, the "clearness to proceed with marriage." The commit- 
tee may discuss marriage and its obligations with the couple just as a minis- 
ter would, for originally the Quakers had no appointed ministers but instead 
gathered together in Quaker silence, speaking up in meeting as the inner 
spirit moved them to express themselves. (In some meetings there now is a 
regularly appointed minister, especially in the West.) 

The committee submits a report on its conferences with the couple to 
the monthly meeting. Overseers are then appointed to attend the wedding 
and to advise the couple on the marriage procedure. 

On the wedding day bride and groom come down the aisle together or 
there may be the usual wedding procession and take the "facing seats," the 
benches that face the meeting. After the Quaker silence the couple rises and 
takes hands. The groom says words to the effect that "in the presence of God 
I take thee ... to be my wedded wife promising with divine assistance 
to be unto thee a loving and faithful husband as long as we both shall live." 
The bride repeats the answering vow. The couple is then seated again, and 
the ushers bring forward a table containing the Quaker marriage certificate. 
This is then read aloud, signed by the bride, groom, and overseers, and 
later officially registered. The regular Quaker meeting follows. 

At the next monthly meeting the overseers report that the marriage "was 
carried out to the good order of friends." Divorce among Quakers is rare. 

the mormon ceremony There are two kinds of marriage among the Mormons 
(members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints). The first is 
that of the faithful who are deemed fit to be married in the temples of the 
church by those holding the Holy Priesthood. In pronouncing the couple 


man and wife, the priest declares them wed "for time and for all eternity" 
instead of "until death do you part." Children born to parents so married 
are believed by the Mormons to belong to them in the eternal world by 
virtue of such marriages. 

Where members of the Church are not considered worthy to be married 
in the temple for time and for all eternity, they may be married civilly by 
Bishops of the church or by any properly accredited person. Later, if they 
comply with the requirements of the church in their daily living they may 
enter the temples of the church and be married for time and for all eternity 
despite previous civil marriage. 

Mixed marriage, although not encouraged, is permitted. Civil divorce is 
recognized but divorce is rare among those married in the temples. 


At a small church wedding not followed by a reception the bride often re- 
ceives with the groom, her mother, and the bridesmaids in the vestibule of 
the church or on the porch if there is one in a country church. The groom's 
mother, if she is unknown in the community, may stand next to the bride's 
mother, who is always first in line, and have guests introduced to her before 
they pass on to bride and groom. Or, if she is known, her place is a little 
beyond the bridesmaids. The father of the bride may or may not stand in 
line, but he usually circulates in the neighborhood of the receiving line to 
share in the glory of the great occasion. The father of the groom does not 
receive with the others when there is no formal reception. 



At a formal reception the mother of the bride is always first in line, as 
hostess, usually just inside the door. Next to her stands the father of the 
groom, then the groom's mother, and, last, the bride's father. Then, a little 
apart, begins the line of the bridal party the bride to the groom's right, 
the groom, the maid or matron of honor, and the bridesmaids. Or the brides- 
maids may be divided so that half are on one side of the bride with the 
maid or matron of honor and the other half alongside of the groom. If there 
is a flower girl old enough to stand in line without getting too restless 
(pretty unthinkable, I should say) she stands next to the groom. The line 
remains intact until all guests have been greeted, then the mother, as hostess, 
leads the group to the bride's table and the parents' table. 




At very formal receptions it is usual for the fathers of the bride and groom 
to stand in line, but not obligatory, especially if the father of the groom is a 
member of the community. But the fathers stay in the neighborhood of the 
receiving line, if not actually on it, to make introductions and see that guests 
are directed to the refreshment tables. 

If the father of the groom is quite unknown to the bride's friends it is 
better for him to be in the line with the bride's father, so he will feel a real 
part of the important proceedings. 


If the bride has no mother to receive for her at her reception her father may 
receive just inside the door as the host, or he may request a female relative, 
an aunt, cousin, or grandmother, to receive with him. If this relative is not 
actually a member of the household the father may be first in line, introduc- 
ing the guests to the honorary hostess as they file past, "This is Dorothy's 
Aunt May. May, Mr. Jordan, one of our neighbors." 


No one really listens to what you say on the receiving line, as a friend of 
mine once dramatically proved by muttering something utterly incongruous 


Optional Arrangement: Bridal 
party before fireplace banked 
with flowers, or possibly in 
front of picture window. 
1. Mother of bride, 2. father 
of groom (optional, see text), 
3. mother of groom (optional, 
see text), 4. father of bride 
(optional, see text), 5, 6. 
bridesmaids, 7. maid or ma- 
tron of honor, 8. bride, 9. 
groom, 10. bridesmaid, 11. 
bridesmaid. note: What- 
ever arrangement, the bride 
is on the groom's right except 
when he's in uniform. The 
best man is never on the line. Exceptions: Occa- 
sionally in the receiving line the bride must stand 
on the groom's left for convenience' sake. In this case 
the line must be routed so that the bride is reached 
first by the guests. If the groom's father acts as best 
man, he then may be in line. 


as he made his way. You must seem cordial and happy to be where you are. 
The bride's mother, who if she doesn't know you has received your name 
from an announcer, passes you on to the groom's father, or mother, or who- 
ever is next in line, mentioning your name and if you are someone of par- 
ticular importance, such as a great-aunt, mentioning the relationship. To 
each you say, during the brief handclasp, "How do you do," or "Lovely 
wedding," or "So happy to meet you." To the bride you offer "best wishes" 
and to the groom "congratulations." (Don't congratulate the bride. Offer 
your felicitations.) Your pause before the bridal couple may be perceptibly 
longer, but you must never hold up the receiving line with long-drawn-out 
dissertations. You may be able to get the couple's ear sometime during the 
reception but even then remember that you are only one of many who 
deem it their privilege to have a word with the bride or groom. 

If no one announces you as you approach the line, announce yourself. 
Don't assume that the bride's mother, who has perhaps seen you only a 
few times, is going to remember your name at a time like this. Help her 
out by saying, "Peter Gossett, Mrs. Kingsley. Such a beautiful wedding!" 

Women guests and women receiving wear their gloves while the line is 
intact but may remove them once the line is broken up. Hats, if worn, may 
also be removed once the reception gets under way. 

how to address the bride If you are on first-name terms with the groom 
and you are an older relative or family friend, it is expected that you call the 
bride by her first name. If you are a contemporary of the groom's and on a 
first-name basis, it does not necessarily follow that he wishes you to be on 
the same basis with his wife unless she suggests it, especially if you and he 
merely work together. He may be "Bob" to you, but, especially if your social 
contact with her is to be very slight, he may be pleased that you address 
his wife as "Mrs. Jones" unless you are urged to do otherwise. 

what does the bride say? The bride tries to make each acknowledgment 
of a guest's meeting sound warm and personal. She repeats the name, if 
possible, "Mrs. Osborn so very nice of you to come so far for our wedding," 
or "Cousin Hattie, the coffee table is exactly what I needed!" Unless she is 
unusually poised and calm, she is safer not trying to remember who gave her 
what or where strangers to her have come from. She will have to write her 
thank-you notes anyhow, but the clever bride will contrive to make every- 
one imagine that she remembers each gift, in detail, and that she has been 
waiting impatiently to receive this particular felicitation and present the 
guest to her new husband or vice versa, if he or she is unknown to him. 

what does the groom say? The groom, usually, less happy than the bride 
over the necessity of the receiving line, is often less than verbose. He says 
"Thank you so much" or "Lovely, isn't she?" or "So glad you could come" 
before he introduces the guest to his wife, if introduction is needed other- 
wise he passes him along with a "Here is Tom, Angela," or, "Darling, you 
know Mrs. Osborn." 



But the groom, no matter how uncomfortable he may feel at this last 
necessary formality of his wedding, must look happy at having to greet even 
a seemingly endless line of guests, when what he needs after all he's been 
through is a tall drink and his bride to himself, or so he thinks. This is his 
first public appearance as the head of the house, and he is at this moment 
as much on display as the bride in some ways more so, as the guests had 
a better chance to see the bride during the ceremony than they did him. 


It is not essential to have music at a wedding reception, especially if quarters 
are small and guests numerous. The choice, if there is music, is a trio a man 
who plays both piano and accordion, a violinist, and a guitarist might make 
a happy combination. If the pianist also is an accordionist the trio is able to 
move through the rooms or over the lawn, as the case may be, serenading 
bride, groom, and guests. 

For very large weddings, where space permits, a full orchestra with a 
leader is sometimes seen but this is doing things in a very pretentious 
manner, even when the orchestra can convert into a dance band after the 
receiving line has broken up. 

During the actual receiving of the guests the music is restricted to light 
classical selections. After the line has received all the guests and dispersed, 
dance music and popular songs are played and sung by the musicians. 


The bride's bouquet is traditionally thrown to the assembled bridesmaids 
just before the bride goes to dress for going away. The bride often retains a 
flower or two for pressing. The girl who catches the bouquet is, as we know, 
the next to marry. 

Occasionally, if some dear relative, such as a grandmother, can't attend 
the wedding, the bride does not throw her bouquet but sends it to the person 
who has had to stay at home with everyone understanding and sympathiz- 
ing with her action. 


As no one but the groom must kiss the bride first, so no one may dance with 
her before he does. Dancing does not start until the couple has had a little 
rest and refreshment, and then, at the signal, the groom bows his bride onto 
the floor and she, gathering up her train, if any, and veil, if long, on her 
right arm, has the first dance usually a waltz (and not "The Merry 
Widow"!), just the two together once around the floor as onlookers applaud. 
Then the bride's father leads out the mother of the groom and the groom's 
father dances with the mother of the bride. Attendants join in, candid 
camera pictures are shot, and finally the guests enter the dance floor, as 
they desire. 


The bride never forgets to dance with her father, or the groom with his 
mother. After her initial dance with the groom the bride is usually claimed 
by her father-in-law, and the groom dances with his mother-in-law before 
asking the pretty bridesmaids. The bride, after dancing with her father, 
dances next with the best man and then with each of the ushers. Guests 
may dance with the bride after all her "obligatory" dances are over, but 
they should not insist, unless she seems still daisy-fresh and really interested 
in remaining on the dance floor. 

After the bride has thrown her bouquet dancing may continue, but usually 
it begins to come to a close and guests start leaving. It is only the hardy 
late-stayers who remain to see the bride off. 


At large formal receptions there is a bride's table, especially decorated with 
white flowers and with the tiered and iced wedding cake in front of the 
bride and groom the groom to the left of the bride. Only members of the 
wedding party the maid or matron of honor to the right of the groom, the 
best man to the right of the bride are expected to sit at the bride's table, 
but if some of the attendants are married it is courteous of the bride to in- 
clude their mates, unless it is certain that they know enough people present 
to enjoy themselves anyhow. But it is preferable for the unity of the bridal 
party to be kept even at the bridal table. 

Even when the guests are served buffet, the bridal table is waited upon. 
As soon as the champagne appears the best man proposes the first toast to 
the bride, with other toasts following as the guests are inspired to offer 
them not forgetting, I hope, one to the groom. 

At the end of the repast the bride rises and with her all the gentlemen 
at the table to cut the cake. Usually the guests are told that the propitious 
moment has arrived and gather round. 

If the groom is in uniform the cake is cut with his dress sword. At a 
civilian wedding a silver cake knife is used, and it may have its handle 
decorated with a streamer of white satin ribbons knotted with bridal 
flowers. The bride cuts only the first slice, with the groom's help, and she 
and the groom share it. 

the bride's table, seating optional, see text. Reading from left to right: Usher, 
bridesmaid, best man, bride, groom, maid or matron of honor, bridesmaid, 




At a wedding buffet, breakfast, or supper there may be a table for the 
bride's parents if there is a special bride's table, but not otherwise. It is 
larger than the guest tables and is the same except for place cards. Place- 
ment of guests is as follows: father of groom to right of bride's mother, who 
is the table's hostess. Opposite the bride's mother sits the bride's father with 
the groom's mother to his right. The other guests at the table may include 
the clergyman and his wife. If a high-ranking church official performed the 
ceremony, or a judge or mayor, he is always placed to the left of the hostess 
and his wife, if present, sits on the left of the host. Very distinguished guests 
are seated at this table, but essentially it is for the parents and a few of 
their close friends. 


When food served at a reception includes no more than two courses say 
chicken salad and ice cream the dishes may be served in part, at least, from 
a buffet table whose major decoration is the wedding cake. When there is 
room, guests, either serving themselves or being served by the caterer's men 
or waitresses, may be seated at small tables bridge tables are usual at a 
home reception. But often they eat standing, with the only service the 
clearing away of the plates and the passing of the punch or champagne. 

When there is no formal bridal table at which all the wedding party 
except the parents are to be served together it is pleasant for the bride and 
groom alone to be provided with a small table to which they may retire for 
refreshments after receiving. Although the guests may have been to the 
buffet table for food and have had several rounds of champagne before the 
weary bride and groom have a chance to get off their feet for a few minutes 
before going on with their duties, guests must wait until the bride has 
finished eating before the cake can be cut and dancing can begin. 

seating at PARENTS' table, table optional. 1. Bride's mother, 2. father of 
groom, 3. father of bride, 4. mother of groom, 5. important officiating clergy- 
man's wife, 6. officiating clergyman {or see text), 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 
friends of parents. 


It is better to serve guests with champagne or punch just as each leaves 
the line and to make refreshments immediately available than to wait until 
the bride is through receiving hundreds of guests at a large reception 
before there is any sign of food. Many wise people prefer a little food with 
champagne or punch as a stabilizer, and there are always guests who must 
leave early or who have dinner engagements. For them, too, it is preferable 
to have refreshments early rather than late, as the food at a wedding recep- 
tion is rarely geared to substitute for a regular meal with the exception of 
that at a wedding breakfast. 


The wedding breakfast is actually lunch three courses. When guests are 
seated it includes a soup course, such as hot clam broth with whipped 
cream, a main dish, such as sweetbreads en broche with green peas and 
potato balls, plus small biscuits and lettuce salad, and for dessert ice cream 
in fancy molds, petits fours or tiny petits fours glaces, demitasses, and, of 
course, the bridal champagne or at least a fine white wine to be served 
with the luncheon, sometimes both. 

When the wedding breakfast is served buffet and there is no way of 
seating guests, even at small tables, the soup course is usually omitted and 
the collation limited to two courses. There may be something like whole 
salmon mayonnaise with wilted cucumbers and dill, green salad, ice cream, 
not necessarily in forms, little cakes, demitasses, and a good white wine or 
champagne, or both. 


The tiered wedding cake may be a caterer's dream or it may be made in the 
kitchen of the bride and be as simple or as elaborate as the cook can 
manage. It need not be topped with the miniature of the bride and groom, 
as is so often seen, but may be covered with charming sugar flowers in 
pastel colors with pale green leaves. Or it may be decorated with a pastry 
tube in white and pastel icing or plain white. The most popular cakes are 
the silver cake, which is made with the egg whites alone and is light and 
airy, the gold cake, a yellow pound cake which is richer, and the dark, rich 
fruit cake, most expensive of all. It should have nothing "written" upon it 
with icing, however. This sort of decoration is reserved for birthday cakes. 
The occasional exception is the "ring cake" a wedding cake baked in the 
shape of the wedding ring and which may have the bride's initials, first, 
then the groom's to the right, in icing on the "band." Often little bridal 
favors are baked in the cake to tell fortunes. 

boxed wedding cakes Real black fruit cakes, wrapped in foil and boxed in tiny, 
white, satin-tied boxes, are a luxury these days because of the hand labor 
they entail. But they are a charming gift to her guests for the bride who can 
afford this extra but no-longer-necessary expense 


If boxed wedding cake is to be given, it is essential that one is at each 
place at the bridal table and that some one person, friend or retainer, be 
designated to give them out to departing guests. 

As everyone knows, wedding cake placed under the pillow of a guest 
brings prophetic dreams. And a bride who looks serenely into a long and 
happy future with her husband puts aside boxes of her wedding cake to 
open on her major wedding anniversaries. She may even be able to nibble a 
piece with her husband when she reaches her Golden Wedding, and enjoy 
it, too, for good fruit cake grows mellower with age. 


If the parents of the bride are separated but not divorced they issue a joint 
invitation to their daughter's wedding and take their accustomed part in 
the ceremony as if there were no difference. For her sake, too, both officiate 
at the reception. 

Sometimes when divorce has taken place the mother gives the wedding 
and the father the reception. If he has not married again, he stands first in 
the line to receive the guests. If he has remarried, his wife acts as hostess. 
If the bride's mother should attend the reception under the latter circum- 
stances, as might well happen in some instances, she comes as a guest, as 
she cannot stand at the side of her former husband in his new home and 
share the duties of hostess with his wife. If, however, her former husband 
has not remarried she could stand with him on the receiving line in his 
home, acting as hostess for the occasion, whether or not she has remarried. 
In this case, as it is his home and not hers, he precedes his former wife on 
the line. 

If the mother, divorced, gives both wedding and reception the father 
usually gives the bride away, calling for her at her mother's house in the 
bridal car. If relations are very strained some other male relative may give 
the bride away, or her mother might if her father is not to attend the 
wedding. Whether or not he is remarried, he sits in the second or third 
pew on the left side of the church and, if remarried, may be accompanied 
by his new wife. She, in turn, may go to the reception if relations are 
friendly, but neither she nor the bride's father receives. 

If the bride's mother has remarried, her husband sits with her in the first 
pew on the left and the bride's father sits behind them with or without his 
wife in the second or third pew. If the remarried mother gives the reception 
her husband stands with her on the line and the bride's father, if present, 
attends only as an important guest. 

It is far better to err on the side of too-friendly relations between divorced 
people on their child's wedding day than to have them remind all present 
by their stiff attitudes of their own failure in marriage. It must be the 
bride's great day, and even if her parents have been long divorced and long 
remarried they are to her forever a unit the unit that produced her. She 


needs to feel, if possible, that on this day they are brought together if only 
briefly by this great common interest, the wedding of their child, and confi- 
dent that the readjustment they have all had to make has been the kind that 
will provide future serenity in her own marriage. 


As we have seen, formal weddings are complicated affairs and the person 
receiving an invitation to the reception must reply immediately, although 
one to the wedding alone, of course, requires no reply. It is important for 
the bride's family to know as soon as possible how many guests are to attend 
the reception, so the caterer may receive the necessary instructions. 

The guest dresses according to the time of day and the formality of the 
wedding. (See "What Others Wear.") Unless he or she is actually a member 
of the wedding party, flowers are not worn. 

It is quite incorrect for men to wear any form of evening dress tuxedos 
or tails during the daylight hours, even for a wedding. Evening dress is 
never worn before six o'clock, although sometimes it is necessary for a man 
to be seen in formal dress somewhat before this hour but only if he's in 

At a church wedding the guest aids the work of the ushers by arriving 
fifteen to twenty minutes before the ceremony or, at a large wedding, even 
earlier if pew cards are not issued. It is disappointing to arrive so late that 
all seats permitting a full view of the altar are taken. 

Each guest, man or woman, is met in the church vestibule by an usher 
who seats each in turn or in groups where all are to sit together ( see "Duties 
of Ushers"). As each guest joins an usher he says, "Friend of the bride" or 
"Friend of the groom," as the case may be, so that he may be seated on 
the left or the right side of the church. If he has a reserved seat, he presents 
the card that has been sent to him to the usher, or tells him his name if he 
is not recognized. At a formal wedding with ushers on duty no invited 
guest seats himself. 

A guest invited to attend the reception makes his own arrangements to 
get there, either in his own car or by taxi, or he asks friends he may en- 
counter at the wedding to let him ride with them. The bride's family is not 
responsible for guests' transportation to or from the reception, although 
ushers do try to find transportation at least for honored guests who may not 
have their own. 

Before the ceremony begins guests are seated in the pews to which they 
have been escorted and may talk briefly in low tones suitable to church. 
They should not move about among their friends, wave, or turn around to 
talk to friends in rear pews. After the bride's mother is escorted to the front 
left pew no other guests are seated and the church doors are closed. As the 
wedding march begins, all guests rise and, turning slightly toward the 
bride's aisle, await her appearance on her father's arm. In most services all 
remain standing throughout, bowing their heads if bride and groom kneel 



or kneeling with them if that is customary. A stranger to the ritual goes as 
far in following it as his own religious customs permit. If it is not the 
custom of his own church to kneel, he can at least bow his head over the 
back of the pew in front of him and stand and sit when others do the same. 
A Protestant at a Catholic wedding is not expected to make the Sign of the 
Cross, but a Christian man at an Orthodox or Conservative Jewish wedding 
would be considered irreverent if he did not wear a hat. For the same 
reason Protestant women whose own churches do not require head covering 
in church do cover their heads, if only with a pocket handkerchief or ker- 
chief, when entering a Catholic or Episcopal church or an Orthodox syna- 
gogue, so as not to offend. 

After the ribbons are in place no one may leave his pew, even if there 
is possible egress to a side aisle. Ushers escort the bride's mother and 
honored guests immediately following the recessional, before the ribbons are 
removed. Other guests leave unhurriedly by themselves only after the ribbons 
are removed, either by the center or side aisles. 

In proceeding to the reception guests give time enough for the bride and 
her party to assemble for the wedding pictures and have a few minutes 
to collect themselves before the tiring ordeal of the receiving line begins. 
As guests arrive they join the waiting line, staying together in family groups, 
if possible, and never seeking refreshments until they have been officially 
received, in order, first by the bride's mother. 

At large weddings there are always many people from out of town who 
do not know each other. And, as the parents of the couple are busy on the 
receiving line and introductions cannot be made in a general way by mem- 
bers of the family in so large a group, it is up to strangers to make them- 
selves known to those in whose immediate neighborhood they find themselves 
standing or sitting. The host's roof is sufficient introduction. 

It is always more tactful for a young girl to approach either an older 
woman or a girl her own age than for her to speak first to a young man. 
And a young man shows his breeding by speaking first to an older man or 
woman, in the hope that he will be taken in hand and introduced to 
attractive girls. All that is necessary is for an outsider in the group to join 
others in a casual manner and, when conversation permits, introduces him- 
self or herself with a brief, identifying phrase. "How do you do? I am Nancy 
Penny (not "Miss Nancy Penny") from Cleveland. Helen (the bride) and I 
went to school together." Or, "May I introduce myself? I am Joe Choate 
from Don's (the groom's) office. I'm afraid I don't know a soul here." Any 
agreeable guest approached in this way will stay and talk and perform 
introductions or, if he's in the same boat, at least be grateful for company. 

Guests may stay until after the bride and groom's departure, if they 
wish, but if they do stay to see the throwing of the bride's bouquet no 
woman guest and never a man should make any attempt to catch it if 
there are bridesmaids. It is traditionally thrown to the unmarried girls in 
the bride's retinue. 


As on any other occasion when he has been entertained, the wedding guest 
seeks out the host or hostess before his departure. He need not write a "bread 
and butter" letter, call, or send flowers to the hostess after the event, but if 
he is a close friend he may feel that so festive and joyous an occasion calls 
for a brief little note of appreciation or a phone call to the bride's mother 
or to the person to whom he is indebted for his invitation. 


Friends and relatives unable to attend the wedding ceremony and extend 
their congratulations in person may send a telegram to the couple, timed to 
arrive during the reception. It is the best man's function to read such tele- 
grams to the bridal table. 

Congratulations should always be addressed to the couple, not to the bride 
or groom alone. A telegram may read: "Congratulations and a long and 
happy life together, love, Aunt Lucy and Uncle Joe," or any other warm, 
personal message. Attempts at levity are usually out of place and, reduced 
to telegraphic prose, often seem tasteless no matter how well meant. The 
seriousness of the occasion should be carefully respected. 


As I have said before, evening weddings take place mainly in the South and 
West. They may be formal or informal and may take place in church or at 
home. The preparations and procedures follow those of the daytime wedding. 
(For dress, see Bride's Dress, Groom's Clothes, etc.) 



Nicest of all weddings, if space permits, is the home wedding. The largest 
room, usually the living room, is selected, cleared for the ceremony, and an 
altar improvised before a fireplace or at some other focal point in the room, 
preferably at the greatest distance from the entrance or entrances. Seats are 
usually not provided. 

If the room is large and the company numerous, "ribbons" are put in 
place just before the entrance of the bride's mother and the groom's mother 
to preserve an aisle. At large weddings a small section for the parents and 
immediate relatives is roped off on either side of the altar, bride's family to 
the left, groom's to the right. 

Where there is a staircase the bride descends it at the first strains of the 
wedding march; otherwise she and the bridal party congregate outside the 



entrance to the main room before the music begins. This is only, of course, 
if the guests are numerous enough, the house large enough to permit a 
formal wedding if she wants it. Otherwise the bride wears a simple dress 
(never black) or suit with a hat at noon, an afternoon dress with a hat, or 
a dressmaker suit, possibly satin. Her attendants dress similarly. 

At a very small wedding there may be no music at all and the bride may 
be in a street dress or suit or afternoon dress. She need not make the usual 
dramatic entrance but after the clergyman has taken his place merely step 
before him for the ceremony. 

A collation is always served at a home wedding. It may be in the same 
room as that in which the wedding took place or in the garden or on a porch. 
A large table is usually moved against a wall and set with the wedding cake 
as a central theme. 

A wedding, of course, may take place out of doors if the climate is suffL 
ciently dependable or if alternative arrangements have been made. Some- 
times the witnesses to the ceremony are limited and the reception is large, 
and often in summer, out of doors. 

receiving at a home wedding At a home wedding there is no recessional 
unless a formal receiving line is to form elsewhere in the house or in the 
garden. Where there are many guests and space is limited, the receiving line, 
if there is to be one, is best located in a small room such as a hall or dining 
room with both exit and entrance to facilitate the flow of traffic. Guests 
should be able to pass on in to a larger area where they may congregate and 
have refreshments. In simple home weddings it is usual for the bride and 
groom merely to turn around at the altar, after the groom has kissed the 
bride, and receive informally with the bridal attendants. 



Sometimes a couple will choose to be married in the rectory of their church. 
The simple ceremony takes place in the clergyman's study or in his living 
room, often before a fireplace. The bride makes no entrance as she would in 
a formal home wedding, and she wears a suit or a street dress and hat. The 
groom wears a dark suit or in the country in summer white flannels and a 
blue coat or a light tropical suit never slacks and sports jacket. 

A few guests may be present, but usually the party is limited to witnesses 
and parents. Sometimes members of the clergyman's household act as wit- 
nesses, and the couple has no attendants. The bride does not have flowers 
sent for the decoration of the rectory. 


After brief preliminary instructions, the bride and groom stand before 
the clergyman, the bride to the groom's left. Unless the bride's father or a 
substitute for him is present the "giving away" part of the ceremony, where 
it is usually used, is done by the bride herself. Bride and groom stand hands 
at sides until the clergyman asks the question, then she places her hand in 
that of the groom preliminary to their being joined as man and wife. After- 
ward the couple receive the congratulations of the minister, then kiss, if 
they wish. Before leaving the rectory the groom, if unattended, remembers 
to leave an envelope for the minister containing an appropriate fee appro- 
priate, that is, to the circumstances of the couple. 

Sometimes a couple wishing the privacy of a small rectory wedding do 
have a reception at a hotel or at the bride's home. In either case, it is never 
formal, and the bride and groom stand side by side and receive their guests. 
Later they do not separate as they probably would at a party but remain 
together to function as host and hostess on this great day. 



The wedding of a clergyman presents certain problems not covered in dis- 
cussions of usual weddings. If he has his own church, synagogue, or temple 
the bride may wonder if his entire congregation must be invited to the 
wedding and, if so, how the invitation is tendered. And where does the 
marriage take place, in his own place of worship or hers? Then there is the 
question of the clergyman's son's wedding and that of his daughter. Where 
and when do such weddings take place and who officiates? Who gives a 
clergyman's daughter away if her father performs the ceremony? What, too, 
does a clergyman wear to his own wedding? These questions have come up 
sufficiently often in my correspondence for me to cover them briefly here. 

First, a clergyman, like any other groom, is married in the church, temple, 
or synagogue of his bride by her own clergyman. If her place of worship 
happens to be his own, then they may be married there by some other 
clergyman of his faith, his superior, a friend, or a clergyman from a neigh- 
boring parish or congregation. Sometimes, if he has an assistant, he is mar- 
ried by him, but someone of his own rank or higher usually would perform 
the ceremony. 

A clergyman usually chooses the morning hours up until noon for his own 
wedding, avoiding (as a matter of convenience among Protestants) his par- 
ticular Sabbath. He wears his clericals, if they are customary in his faith, not 
his vestments. If the hour chosen should happen to be late afternoon, four- 
thirty, he may wear morning dress or, depending on the season, other suit- 



able clothing (see "The Groom's Clothes"), with or without the clerical 
collar and rabat depending on his denominational custom. 

A clergyman-father performing the marriage for his daughter cannot give 
her away, where this procedure is called for in the ceremony. Instead, she is 
escorted at a formal wedding by an older brother, a brother-in-law, a god- 
father, an uncle, or a family friend. After delivering her to the groom her 
escort may step back and into the first pew on the bride's side or remain to 
give her away. When the clergyman asks the question concerning the giving 
in marriage the bride's mother steps forward and places the hand of the 
bride in that of the clergyman or in that of the groom, depending on the 
denominational custom. 

In a very small community and in a church, synagogue, or temple that is 
unusually well-attended, a clergyman might announce his forthcoming mar- 
riage from the pulpit and invite the congregation to attend if the marriage 
is to take place in his own house of worship. But so informal a procedure, 
though it seems to be followed occasionally, risks the exclusion of some 
members who might not have attended services on the day the announce- 
ment was made. More correct is the sending of individual invitations of 
some kind (see "Wedding Invitations") to the entire mailing list. The 
reception, of course, could be and is really expected to be limited to close 
friends, associates, and relatives of bride and groom. In a small community 
where a bride, for extenuating reasons (no relatives of her own, for example), 
might come from a distance to be married in her husband's own church, 
synagogue, or temple, the people of the congregation might give the recep- 
tion, especially if the couple's joint circumstances were modest. 

A clergyman who has not been assigned his church, temple, or synagogue 
may be married anywhere by a religious ceremony, even in a quiet one in 
his bride's home or at a friend's home. 

A clergyman whose son is marrying is usually given the honor of con- 
ducting the ceremony in the bride's place of worship with the bride's clergy- 
man assisting. If the bride's home is at considerable distance from his own 
the father's congregation does not usually expect to be invited en masse, 
though various active members of the congregation might well be included 
in the invitation list. 




A friend of mine with three lovely daughters gave the first a traditional big 
wedding with no expense spared including that of a dance band for the 


reception for more than three hundred. His other daughters, of course, were 
attendants, and he told them that they'd better make the most of their day 
of glory as one big wedding was all he could stand and we can sympathize 
with him, "My other daughters can expect just a good strong ladder on a 
nice moonlight night," he warned. 

There are elopements and elopements, of course. The kind we don't like to 
see is the one where parents have not become reconciled to the marriage and 
the couple runs off in defiance of parental displeasure. The young people 
should both work very hard, if necessary, to win all four parents over to the 
match. A runaway marriage where there has been bitter objection can 
start a couple off very defensively. 

Then there is the elopement that is frequently a great relief to all con- 
cerned, when, because of social position, an elaborate wedding is expected. 
Sometimes a girl or her groom cannot bear the idea of all the complexities 
and pressures of a big wedding, and, once they have announced their inten- 
tions and received the blessings of their friends and parents, they go off and 
are married in a religious ceremony, I hope, for civil ones can be very 
dreary with two friends as witnesses, perhaps, or even two strangers pro- 
vided by the officiating person. They then phone or wire their families and 
friends to whom only the day of the elopement, not the fact of it, will come 
as a surprise. 

The bride and groom with a wide, expectant circle of friends do better to 
elope in this way than to try to have a small wedding from which they 
would find it difficult to exclude so many people close to them friends whom 
they might greatly prefer to the relatives who must be asked, for example. 


Sometimes formal announcements of the wedding are omitted after elope- 
ments, but more usually they are sent, with the place of the marriage always 
stated and the date and year. If a civil ceremony has been performed, only 
the name of the city or town appears. If the couple was married in church, 
it is optional whether the church is mentioned. 

Strictly speaking, any couple for whom wedding invitations were not 
issued should not expect wedding gifts, even if they send formal announce- 
ments of the marriage. But of course close friends and relatives will send 
gifts, as will many friends who receive the announcements. If an elopement 
is a second or third marriage for bride or groom, no gifts at all should be 
expected, although again there will be friends usually of the less married 
or not previously married partner who may wish to send gifts. But once 
you have given a wedding gift, even to your dearest friend, you cannot be 
expected to give one for a second marriage, too. 


For a civil marriage in a registrar's office or in a judge's chambers the groom 
wears a dark business suit and the bride wears a simple street length suit or 



dress, never a wedding gown. She wears a corsage, instead of carrying a 
bouquet, and before the brief ceremony begins she removes her gloves and 
places them with her handbag. Where there is no best man and witnesses 
are garnered from the office staff, the groom quietly hands the officiating 
person a sealed envelope containing the fee before the ceremony anywhere 
from ten to twenty-five dollars, depending on the circumstances. Where a 
high-ranking official a mayor, governor, or Supreme Court judge has per- 
formed the rite as a special favor to the families involved, no fee is offered 
but a gift is sent after the ceremony again depending on the circumstances. 
Anything from a case of Scotch to a bottle or so of fine champagne or per- 
haps a fine pipe or a humidor of good cigars might be appropriate. 



Many of us wish that fashion did not change so often, but the fact that it 
does has made the matter of her trousseau much easier for the modern 
bride. Her grandmother was expected to bring with her enough clothes to 
last at least a year, along with all the linen, bedding, pots and pans enough 
to set up housekeeping from scratch. Today's bride, even when her personal 
allowance permits a lavish wardrobe, seldom buys more than enough clothes 
for the first few months of her married fife with the exception, of course, of 
her lingerie. Fashions change too fast. In fact, they change even in the 
matter of household linens, and Americans move so often, especially in cities. 
That's why few of us have hope chests kept from our early teens any more. 
Instead of collecting a lifetime's supply of embroidered linens, we buy what 
we need and what we have room to store, replacing as needed with linens 
that suit the taste of the moment. 

In fact, the very word "linens" is now a misnomer. Linen sheets which 
used to be de rigueur for the bride's household trousseau are seldom seen 
now, and a good thing, too, as they needed daily changing to look fresh and 
inviting, whereas good quality percale keeps its finish and stands up better 
in commercial laundering. 


It is a sound idea to choose white sheets for the trousseau linen. Colored 
sheets are dramatic but they must be planned for each room and can't be 
used interchangeably as can basic white sheets. Unless she knows exactly 


what her decorative scheme is going to be, the bride should introduce 
colored sheets and pillow cases, if she wants them, only after she is settled 
in her new home. She may find her new husband has decided opinions con- 
cerning sleeping between pink or yellow sheets, with or without rosebud 
borders. He may be strictly a white-sheet man. 

Good white percale or fine cotton top sheets may, of course, be attractively 
monogrammed in color with one or more initials. There should be some 
reason for the color it should match the blankets or pick up a decorative 
note in the room. But in my opinion the most luxurious monogram of all is 
done in white, on white, doubly impressive by its subtlety. 

While white sheets are always basic, the modern tendency is to treat bath- 
room linen as part of the decorating scheme. All-white bath linen, therefore, 
seems a little dull, although white linen guest towels can never be in too 
great abundance even when bath towels, face towels, and washcloths in 
terry may combine two or more colors to suit the particular bathroom. 

The thing to remember when deciding on colored bath linen is, again, 
that the towels, like colored sheets, cannot be used interchangeably. They 
must all match when hung together in a bathroom. Fingertip guest towels 
are best in white or may match the bath towels or their initialing. Gray bath 
towels with maroon monograms might be attractively accompanied by 
maroon fingertip towels with matching monogram in gray. But an ill- 
assorted collection of towels, no matter how fresh, in any bathroom makes 
for a "busy" decorative scheme. 


Today's bride still comes to her husband with a dowry, too the clothes for 
her honeymoon, as many nice underthings as she can afford or as are given 
her by her family and friends, and as much in the way of household linens 
and kitchen equipment as she can manage. If she has a bank account, too, 
so much the better. But many a bride, married without fanfare or much 
advance preparation, comes to her husband with little more than the clothes 
on her back. And the couple acquires what is needed for housekeeping as 
the home is furnished, with the husband footing all the bills, if necessary. 

But the bride who can afford it still brings with her a lavish dowry of 
household linens enough to last through their first few years of marriage, 
at least, and geared of course to the way she and her husband will be living. 
Here is a basic list for a household trousseau, expansible or contractible, of 
course, according to the size of home the couple will have and the scale on 
which they will be living and, too, depending on the bride's resources. 


linens 4 sheets for each bed (two top and two bottom, if they are to be hem- 
stitched or monogrammed) 



2 pairs of blankets for each bed 

1 quilt (preferably eiderdown) for each bed 

4 pillowcases for each bed 

1 bedspread for each bed 

6 bath towels for each bathroom 

6 matching face towels for each bathroom 

6 matching face cloths for each bathroom 

1 shower curtain for each bathroom (nylon or plastic are best) 

6 guest towels for each bathroom 

1 doz. kitchen towels 

1 doz. glass towels 

1 bathmat to match each set of bathroom towels 

1 dinner-size damask or linen tablecloth in white or pale colors, to overlap 
table not less than 12", not more than 18", with 1 doz. matching napkins, 

3 luncheon sets for daily use with matching napkins 

2 tray cloths 

2 tray sets with 2 napkins each (one napkin for the tray, one for the toast) 

1 doz. cocktail napkins 

2 or more sets of practical table mats in straw, cotton, woven matting or 
any of the modern, tasteful materials used for the purpose with matching 
or contrasting napkins (white luncheon napkins, simply hemmed, go with 

1 quilted mattress cover for each bed 
1 blanket cover for each bed 

kitchen equipment (Often provided by showers) 

4 paring knives flour sifter 

1 kitchen carving knife and fork rolling pin 

1 canister set ladle 

set of mixing bowls funnel 

measuring spoons meat grinder 

measuring glasses cooking spoons 

kitchen scales jelly molds 

1 bed tray vegetable parer 

1 serving tray kitchen teapot 

4 pot holders dish drainer 

6 kitchen aprons (if the bride will folding steps 

officiate) 1 doz. dish cloths 

vegetable bin (if not 2 sets covered icebox dishes 

bread box \ built in bread knife 

1 dishmop apple corer 

broom and dustpan colander 

1 dry mop casserole 


1 wet mop 

carpet sweeper (vacuum can be a 
wedding present or bought 
after marriage) 

step-on garbage can 

kitchen stool 


frying pans (large and small) 


covered kettle 


custard cups 

electric mixer 

waffle iron 

muffin tins 

cake tins 

egg beater 

electric blender 


cookie sheet 

large and small pitchers 

bread board 

can and bottle openers 

chopping bowls (large and small) 

spice sets 


coffee maker 

paper towel holder with towels 

glassware and china (These are usually gifts and the bride should state her 
needs, when asked. Breakage is very heavy and good glass expensive to 
replace. ) 

1 dozen or more water glasses 

2 dozen ice-tea glasses 
1 dozen sherry glasses 
1 dozen cordial glasses 

1 dozen or more wine glasses 

1 dozen champagne glasses, solid 

2 dozen "old-fashioned" glasses 

2 dozen cocktail glasses 
2 dozen highball glasses 
1 dozen sherbet glasses 
1 dozen punch glasses 
6 "shot" glasses 
12 juice glasses 

8 fingerbowls, matching plates (op- 


1 basic set utility china (optional) may be pottery or some one of the 
"unbreakable" wares 

1 set fine china (optional) 

If no matching sets are to be used: 

8 breakfast plates 

12 breakfast coffee cups (allowing for breakage) not necessarily matching, 
but if plates are patterned, cups should be solid color, in blending tone 
(for coffee lovers there are jumbo cups) 

8 breakfast butter plates 

8 egg cups or small dishes for eggs (milk glass reproductions of setting 
hens are amusing for the purpose) 

8 cereal dishes 

1 covered dish for toast (may be in any color that looks well with break- 
fast plates, or may be silver or silver plate) 

1 small platter for bacon, pancakes, etc. to match or blend 

1 small creamer 



1 sugar bowl 

1 large creamer for cereal 

12 dinner plates (if matching set is not used) 

12 butter plates in plain china, such as white or bordered Wedgwood, 

or in ruby, amber, green, amethyst or clear glass to blend, if matching 

set is not used 
3 vegetable dishes, may be silver or silver plate or match set 
1 small platter, may be silver 

1 large well and tree platter, silver or silver plate 
1 sauce boat with saucer, or bowl for gravy, may be silver, match set, or 

in blending china. 
1 ladle for gravy, may be china, silver, or glass 
1 bread plate, or tray, may be silver, china, or wood. Basket should be 

wicker. Bread board is pleasant for informal meals. (Queen Victoria 

used one on her table as an example of thrift bread was cut only as 

Condiment dishes, may be china, fine china, pottery, silver or glass; antique 

or modern. Cut glass is back in favor 

1 water pitcher, may be silver, modern or antique glass, antique china oi 
pottery, such as Majolica or any of the glazed wares for informal use 

2 sets of salts and peppers, may be silver but may also be china or glass, 
antique or modern. Gourmets like wooden pepper and salt grinders 

8 cream soups (optional) 

8 soup cups (optional) 

8 individual covered casseroles (very useful and may be used, informally, 

for soups) 
8 thin teacups for afternoon tea 
8 tea plates, need not match and can be in any fine, blending china or 

in glass 
8 demitasses preferably in fine china but may be glass or, for a completely 

informal household, pottery 
1 teapot 

1 coffee pot or coffee maker 
1 round serving platter for molded desserts, cakes, and pies, may be china, 

glass, sometimes silver 
8 dessert plates, may match set or be in any fine china, glass, or, informally. 

8 "English" dessert dishes, deep enough for baked apples, sauced puddings, 

etc., though these are often successfully served on a flat plate, as is ice 

1 serving bowl for desserts, fruits, occasionally for salads 
1 salad bowl with serving fork and spoon the choicest, seasoned wood is 

6 individual table ash trays. May be silver, pewter, antique or moderi 

china, glass, pottery (for informal tables along with shells) 



The bride's family usually gives her her flat silver, and the groom's family 
gives the silver tea service as a wedding gift. 

If having a silver tea service will create a storage problem in small 
quarters where it can't be on display, the groom's family might better give 
a china service or, perhaps, broadloom if that is a paramount need of a 
young couple on a slender budget. It is nicer, of course, for both families 
to give enduring things such as silver or fine china, but many young couples 
would prefer checks to use only in part to start purchases of silver or fine 
china on a budget basis, adding to their stock as their living quarters and 
their social activities grow. 

Whether or not she is to receive her flat silver all at once or purchase it 
a setting at a time, the bride should choose her pattern and monogram as 
soon as her invitations are out, so friends who wish to give her silver may 
match their gifts. She may register her silver pattern and that of her china 
and glass at shops from which it will probably come. This will be of much 
help to her friends. Silver serving dishes and platters don't necessarily 
match the flat silver but should be in a harmonizing style. Loveliest are the 
old Sheffield platters and serving dishes, plated of course on copper, but 
there are many modern pieces in sterling or, more usual, plate, in a variety 
of classic patterns that complement flatware. 

If it is out of the question for a bride to have even a starter set of sterling, 
a fine quality of plate in a simple pattern will do. But, given a choice 
between a complete set of even the best plate and a four-place setting of 
sterling, the wise bride will chose the sterling, adding to it on anniversaries 
and other gift-giving times. Sterling is a permanent investment requiring 
no upkeep or replacement. It always has a company complexion and will 
be just as acceptable and beautiful twenty or thirty years after the wedding. 

Styles in silver are fairly stable. Heavy embossed or repousse silver, 
which is hard to clean, is better avoided for the simpler, more modern, 
patterns. But if you have inherited heavy, heavily-decorated silver, it is 
heartening to know that you can still add to your set, as the great silver- 
smiths still produce for these familiar open-stock patterns. And often you 
can pick up extra forks, spoons, and knives at auctions or old silver shops. 
In fact, a friend of mine, with no family to give her silver and a slim budget 
on which to start, deliberately chose one of the lovely, decorative old pat- 
terns, buying it secondhand, and from time to time picks up six spoons or 
a dozen salad forks in antique shops and elsewhere at half the price they 
would be new from the silversmiths that have been making them for a 
century. And, as with all fine sterling, their beauty increases with use and 
the years. 

A dozen of everything in all-sterling flatware is ideal, but a young bride 
can do very well with four- or six-place settings consisting of dinner knife, 
dinner fork, salad fork, butter knife, teaspoon, and dessert spoon. The 



teaspoon will be used for consomme and cream soup, for desserts in small 
containers, for grapefruit or fruit cup, as well as for tea or coffee. The 
dessert spoon will do for soups in soup plates and for desserts served on flat 
plates. She will need two tablespoons and two extra dinner forks to serve 
with, a carving set, a cake knife and, of course, after-dinner coffee spoons. 

If her budget is limited she should avoid purchasing flat silver that is 
used only occasionally fruit knives and forks, oyster forks, ice-tea spoons, 
fish forks and knives, cheese scoops, and the like. If ancestral silver is to 
be used, it is probable that some of these things will be missing anyhow and 
substitutes will have to be found. 

A word of warning to the bride who rejects offers of sterling silver when 
she marries in favor of household furnishings she feels she needs more. 
If you don't get your sterling now, you may never get it. Once a family 
starts growing, its constant needs too often absorb funds we thought would 
be available for something so basic as sterling. So we "make-do" over the 
years with ill-assorted cutlery, deceptively inexpensive because it wears 
out. Then come the important little dinners, as a young husband gets up 
in the world. We push a chair over a hole in the living room rug, put a 
cushion under the pillow of the sofa with a sagging spring, and distract 
the guests' attention from the pictureless walls by charming flower arrange- 
ments. But there is nothing that can be done about the shabby flatware, 
which, somehow, is still with us, even though it was bought just to tide us 
through the first year in the tiny apartment. But then, of course, the baby 

Never again in her lifetime will a girl find her family and friends in such 
a giving and sentimental mood as they are at the time of her wedding. At 
no other time will it occur, very probably, to any of them to give her so 
much as a silver ash tray. But at the propitious moment they think of sterling 
silver as the gift for the bride as part of her dowry as it should be. So, though 
she starts married life without as much as a roasting pan, she should be 
able to lay her table if it's only a bridge table with the kind of silver 
she'll be proud to see on whatever table the future has in store for her. 

Right from the start, it is the wife's task to set the tone of the family's 
living. And one's everyday living should differ very little from that pre- 
sented to guests. We are all strongly influenced by things around us. What 
family doesn't deserve the sight of an attractively set dinner table, even 
when guests aren't present? 

should gifts of silver be monocrammed? The bride should decide how 
she wishes her silver marked, then, if it is given her in a complete set, it 
arrives already monogrammed. If friends give her flat silver from a chosen 
pattern, it is better to send it unmonogrammed, in case she receives many 
duplicates. Hollow ware and trays should be sent unmonogrammed to make 
them exchangeable. 

how should silver be marked? In hope chest days a girl began collecting 
her silver piece by piece, long before a knight even appeared over the 


horizon. It was monogrammed with her maiden initials or the single letter 
of her last name or with her family's crest, and it remained her personal 
property. After she was married, or if her husband's family presented silver, 
that silver was marked with her married initials or the single initial of the 
new family or with her husband's crest. This meant differently marked 
silver used on the same table. And while this is very usual, especially when 
we have inherited silver, many brides prefer unity in monogramming. The 
bride often has her silver marked with her new initials, or the single initial 
of her new name or with her husband's crest, if they both wish. 

Ornate initialing or monogramming has given way to simple markings, 
usually suggested by the jeweler as being in harmony with the design of 
the silver. Sometimes triangles or inverted triangles are used, with the 
bride's initials or her first initial and the groom's combined with his last 
initial. This may be N (his last name) 

J P (their two first initials) or 

J F 
G (her maiden initials in an inverted 
triangle or with her first two initials at the base). 


who gives showers Showers are popular in small communities and a practical 
and attractive way to help a bride set up housekeeping but senseless if she 
comes from a family that "has everything." For the basic idea of a shower is 
practicality the bride's closest friends give her utilitarian things kitchen 
supplies, linens, cooking equipment, staple groceries, stockings, all to form 
a little nest egg of needed articles with which to start off her new life. Show- 
ers are usually given a month before the wedding. It is nice for those plan- 
ning showers to consult others who may want to do the same. It is often 
a financial hardship on friends who are invited to four or five showers for 
the same girl. It is more considerate for the donors to join forces in one or 
two showers instead. 

Showers may be given by any close friend, usually a member of the 
bridal party, if there is to be one. Often they are given by the maid or 
matron of honor, if she isn't a sister or other relative and if she lives in 
the community and has the facilities for entertaining. They are not given by 
members of the bride's or groom's families. Showers are supposed to be a 
"surprise" to the bride, who supposedly has no idea that an invitation to 
tea might mean that she is to be showered with gifts. She is usually quietly 
consulted as to her needs. 

Shower gifts are mostly inexpensive, as the bride's intimate friends 
usually give her wedding gifts as well though in some cases it is perfectly 
possible that the shower gift and wedding gift will be combined, as in the 
gift of an electric toaster or waffle iron at a kitchen shower. Guests at a 
shower always take a gift. As only the closest friends of the bride are asked, 


it seems a slight if someone asked neglects to send a little gift, if she can't 
take it in person. Of course, if the hostess has erred in asking a mere 
acquaintance of the bride to attend a shower for her, then the recipient of 
the invitation is under no obligation either to attend or send a gift. She must, 
though, in all courtesy, reply to the invitation and give some believable 
excuse for not attending. 

A groom is not supposed to be present at the various daytime showers 
his bride may be given and there may be several of them. But in some 
communities the custom of giving joint evening showers is growing. And 
the men among them the ushers and best man give little special gifts to 
the groom, usually a poor, neglected soul in the wedding setup. He might 
receive handkerchiefs or ties or garden tools if the couple is to have a house. 
It would be poor taste, however, to give a joint shower in which the bride 
received anything so intimate as lingerie. Here is a list of possible gifts for 
joint showers: 


stockings ties 

linens socks 

canned goods shirts 

cosmetics handkerchiefs 

soap barbecue supplies 

kitchen utensils ash trays (who ever has enough?) 

cook books tools 

closet accessories garden equipment 

bathroom equipment books 

gloves wines and liquor 

sewing materials liqueurs (a very nice idea) 
plastic container for paper cups for garden seeds 
bathroom or kitchen 

It is necessary, of course, for shower-givers and guests to get together 
on themes, colors, and the bride's needs. If she is to have a kitchen with 
red accessories, a kitchen shower should have all gifts geared to the theme- 
even to a red step-on garbage can or folding stepladder. If either bride or 
groom is to receive things to wear, exact sizes should be ascertained. 

The kind of shower should be chosen that permits even the most short- 
of-money bridesmaid, who is involved with her own expenses of the wed- 
ding, to make her own gay contribution, if only a dime-store pot-holder. 

Gifts should all be assembled, wrapped, and perhaps screened off, before 
the bride arrives. Any later-arriving guests present theirs personally. The 
bride opens all gifts at the designated time usually before the refreshments, 
which are simple. 

The verbal thank-you's of the bride at the time she opens her gifts are 
sufficient, though she should write brief notes or phone to anyone who 
sent a gift but could not come herself. 




must one send a gift? People who receive invitations to wedding receptions 
send a gift if they accept, but need not, necessarily, send one if they regret. 
If they are close enough to either family to be invited to the reception, 
though, they usually will want to send a gift whether or not they will be 

suitable gifts Never feel you must "match your gift to the circumstances." 
If you are the bride's former teacher, living on a small salary, don't feel you 
must give a gift well out of proportion to the amount you should spend, 
just because the bride will have a big wedding and perhaps live on a lavish 
scale. Lovely gifts need not be expensive. A friend with taste who knows old 
glass or silver can give a present that will really be treasured and spend 
anywhere from a dollar to five dollars for it. A gardener with the knack for 
it might make a dream of an indoor rock garden and take it to the young 
couple himself. With shears, old maps, or floral wallpaper and some glue, 
clever fingers can transform a metal waste basket into a most useful and 
decorative receptacle for the new living room. And how about a charming 
scrapbook ready for the clippings about the engagement and the wedding 
or perhaps already containing them as you have gathered them yourself? 
Such gifts have real sentimental value and show you have given affectionate 
thought. They have something money can't buy. One of my own wedding 
gifts was a single, lovely covered dish of old Meissen removed from her 
own china shelves for me by an old girlhood friend of my mother. It was 
the nucleus of my collection of old Meissen, and I never forget who gave 
it to me, whereas I sometimes come upon one of many silver dishes and 
serving forks and wonder who sent it, although I did keep the proper 
record at least until all gifts were acknowledged. 

gifts of money in cash, checks, or bonds are often presented in the names 
of both bride and groom the day of the wedding either before the ceremony 
or before the reception. If they are sent previous to the wedding, like all 
wedding gifts sent before the marriage, they are made out to the bride- 
to-be alone. 

if the gift is sent after the wedding While wedding gifts should arrive, if 


possible, well before the wedding to allow for their display should the 
bride so desire, in actuality many arrive after the wedding has taken place- 
sometimes months later. Such gifts, if they are monogrammed or initialed, 
bear the married initials of the bride or the husband's crest and are addressed 
to the bride and groom, not to the bride alone, as are gifts arriving before 
her marriage actually takes place. 

gifts to the groom Gifts are always addressed to the bride before the mar- 
riage, even when close friends of the groom send them. If no "at home" 
card is in the invitation they are sent to the home of the bride, if it is certain 
that they will arrive after the wedding or if they are sent in response to an 
announcement. Of course, if one knows exactly where the couple's future 
home is to be the gift can be sent there, if it is certain someone will be 
present to receive it should it arrive while the bride and groom are still on 
their wedding trip. 

your card with cifts When you send your wedding gift enclose your card 
with a brief line of felicitation at the top, in ink. You address your gift to 
the bride in her maiden name if it is certain to reach her before the wed- 
ding. Gifts sent after the wedding if sent in response to an announcement- 
are addressed to "Mr. and Mrs." If the gift will arrive after a wedding to 
which you were invited, send it with a short note of explanation in a sealed 
envelope if it is sent from a shop. You might write: 

Dear Betty, 

Sorry this is so very late. 

We have been traveling. I wanted you to have this from our favorite 
wedding-gift shop, so I waited until we returned and I could choose it 



A formal display of wedding gifts is less often seen now, although it is still 
good taste to exhibit them. If the reception takes place at the bride's home, 
the gifts may be shown at a tea before the wedding or placed on display 
on white damask-covered tablecloths in some room of the house, so guests 
may view them during the reception. Where there are many valuable gifts 
private detectives are engaged to guard them. 

Cards are now removed from gifts displayed, and gifts of more or less 
like value are grouped together to discourage comparisons. Checks are 
recorded on cards which are propped up for display. They read, "CHECK, 
$100" but the donor's name is not given, though the bride or groom often 
reveal the information, as checks usually come from close relatives. 



Even if the bride does not know the sender of the gift, who may be a par- 
ticular friend of her husband's, she herself must write the thank-you note 
just as soon as she possibly can within two or three weeks certainly, after 
receipt of the gift. They should never be written on Mr. and Mrs. cards, nor 
on cards that say "thank you" on the top fold. They should be on good 
quality, conservative note paper or on informals which, if engraved or im- 
printed, should carry the bride's name or initials alone. At a large wedding, 
where hundreds of gifts must be personally acknowledged, an engraved 
card may be sent immediately upon receipt of the gift. It reads: 

Miss Penelope Kingsley 
wishes to acknowledge the receipt 

of your wedding gift 

and will write a personal note of 

appreciation at an early date 

Stereotyped letters are never worth reading. You know just what they 
are going to say the minute you see a first line that begins, "It was so kind 
of you to send the lovely cake plate." If you were thanking Aunt Matilde face 
to face, would you say anything so stuffy? Wouldn't you be more likely to 
say, "What a lovely cake plate!" Here is how you can put such spontaneity 
in a thank-you note: 


Dear Aunt Matilde, 

The lovely cake plate arrived safe and sound. I always wanted Dresden 
and now I have a piece with which to start what I hope one day will be a 
real collection. When you see us in our new little apartment I think you 
will like the way I've used it in our decoration. 


Your letters and you should be just alike. It's foolish to make the written 
expression of your personality old-womanish and out-of-date if you talk like 
a nice, alert, and friendly person. 

Thank-you notes for wedding presents are signed, "Sincerely," "Cordially," 
"Love," or "Affectionately" (if the bride knows the sender well), "Mary" 
or "Mary Kerr" with her new surname to someone to whom she would not 
be "Mary." 





aiomewhere at some time I remember reading a stiff-necked interdiction 
against the term "honeymoon." Supposedly "wedding trip" is better usage. 
In French the term for this carefree period of adjustment is "lune de miel" 
literally "moon of honey," and there is historic significance in the term. In 
Europe, in some countries, the couple drank a special beverage, or mead, 
called metheglin, a honey wine, for a month after the wedding hence the 
"honey moon." 

The modern honeymoon is much simpler, and usually much shorter, than 
that of previous generations. My mother's lasted three months and included 
a trip on horseback through part of the Rockies. In the 1860's a honeymoon 
could encompass a whole summer and might include the entire wedding 
party at the bridegroom's expense. The depression following the Civil War 
put an end to such extravagance, fortunately, or it still might be the 
expected thing for the groom to take his and his bride's attendants along 
on what should be a most private holiday. 


The place and duration of the honeymoon must depend on the amount of 
time available and the financial resources of the groom for this is his 
expense. Unless, of course, either his or her parents, or perhaps both to- 
gether, are able to give the couple a honeymoon as a wedding gift. A trip 
to Europe or a world cruise is, barring the interruption of war, a standard 
wedding gift on the part of parents who can afford it. 

Even if both bride and groom must go back to work immediately after 
the ceremony, as so often happens in this tense society of ours, some sort 
of quiet getting away together should be planned at the earliest possible 
moment, before the two are caught up in the whirl of conjugal responsi- 
bilities. For suburbanites a week end in a nearby city can be honeymoon 
enough, if only that time can be spared. For city dwellers, a trip to the 
country may accomplish the same thing a chance to be more or less alone 
during the first awkward stage of marriage, a time free of routine chores 
and of relatives and well-meaning friends. 

Anything too different from the sort of thing each is used to may be 
a dangerous choice in the way of a honeymoon. A new husband who loves 


to walk would make a mistake in choosing to introduce his bride to the 
rigors of distance hiking if she's never trod on anything but city pavements 
and doesn't know what it means to put her feet in low-heeled shoes. Too 
many adjustments should not be made at once to marriage, and, at the 
same time, to a strange and perhaps too demanding environment or activity. 
Instead, the couple should choose the kind of place where both will feel 
comfortable and where, if they want it, there will be some sort of diversion 
available in the company of other young people. It is helpful if the honey- 
moon isn't too sometimes embarrassingly private, for it then eases the 
couple gently into married life as it really is, not two on an island of love 
and kisses, out two as a unit in a community of friends and neighbors. 


In the days when formal calling was de rigueur everyone asked to a wed- 
ding was expected to call on the bride's mother within three weeks after the 
wedding and on the bride and groom within a reasonable time after they 
had returned home, especially if they had issued "at home" cards. 

In actuality, if these formalities were rigidly carried out in our modern 
society it would make for considerable confusion. Imagine the mother of 
a bride, after a large, elaborate wedding to which anywhere from three 
to five hundred guests have come from far and wide, having to receive 
them all, or at least the women representatives of families, within three 
weeks after the last bit of confetti has been swept out of the hall! She'll 
want to talk over the wedding with many of her close friends, who would 
call in the natural course of events. But to be at home to so many! And 
the poor bride! It will be months before she has her home running in any 
proper order. If she's like the average American girl, she knows less than 
nothing about housekeeping and is either just learning to cook or is trying 
her best to act mature with a servant or servants whose very functions she 
hardly knows. Into the middle of all this, and with wedding gifts still being 
acknowledged, no doubt, step two or three hundred callers? Ridiculous and 
improbable, you say, but that's what is supposed to be correct. 

As a matter of fact, the bride's mother, who has gone through considerable 
in preparation for even a small wedding, expects to hear from no one who 
attended the wedding and reception, with the exception of a few close 
friends and relatives who let her know, by calling, dropping her a note, or 
phoning, how well everything went and how pleased they are at the new 
addition to the family. 

If the bride and groom settle down in a new neighborhood they do not 
expect their parents' friends who came to the wedding to come from an- 
other community to call upon them. They can hope that their immediate 
neighbors will call, in time, usually in a most informal manner. The local 
minister, in a small community, is certain to call. 

The modern bride doesn't stand on much ceremony these days. If she's 
just fallen heir to a country house and finds its intricacies too much for her, 



she may merely poke her head through her neighbor's hedge and beg for 
advice, long before the neighbor has decided it is about time to run in and 
make herself known. It is certainly simpler to say to a neighbor, who may 
not yet be conscious that you are the one who's just taken the Murphy 
house, "How do you do? I've just moved in up the street. I'm Margaret 
Tillman. I wonder if I can ever achieve a garden like that?" 

Of course, if a bride moves to New York, she may live in the same 
apartment house twenty years without knowing more than the face of the 
apartment holder next door. In this case, she must make every effort to 
establish contact with others in the city with whom she and her husband 
can begin a social life. 



Today, most couples celebrate their wedding anniversaries in some quiet 
way as they come along. Some special attention is often paid the tenth, 
and usually the following are really celebrated with one's friends: the twenty- 
fifth, the fiftieth, and the seventy-fifth. 

The same formality attends the wedding anniversary invitation as the 
wedding itself. Invitations may be, of course, engraved (see Correspondence 
Section) or handwritten or telephoned. They may or may not mention the 
occasion, in the latter instance merely asking friends to dine on the par- 
ticular evening. Gifts should not be expected, except between husband and 
wife, but of course they may be given by close friends who wish to give 

There is a tradition for the giving of wedding anniversary presents, 
though, of course, it need not be followed. Changing times, new fabrics, 
and products make it advisable to extend the list somewhat. 


paper, plastics 


bronze or electrical appliances 




pottery or china 


leather or any leather-like 


tin or aluminum 





linen, silk, rayon or nylon or 


silk, nylon, linen 

other synthetic silk 






ivory or agate 




crystal or glass 


wool, copper, or brass 











emeralds or turquoise 


coral or jade 


diamonds or gold 


rubies or garnets 


diamonds or gold 


sapphires or tourmalines 


Mr. and Mrs. Roland Purdy 
request the pleasure of 

the company of 

Mr. and Mrs. Robjohn* 

at a dinner to celebrate 

the seventy-fifth anniversary of their marriage 

on Saturday, the eighteenth of February 

at eight o'clock 

850 Park Avenue 


In honour of 

the fiftieth wedding anniversary of 

Mr. and Mrs. Roland Purdy 

their sons and daughters 

request the pleasure of 

the company of 

Captain McMurray* 

at dinner 

on Saturday, the eighteenth of February 

at eight o'clock 

850 Park Avenue 


Mrs. Gibbs Purdy 
88 Cricket Lane 
Larchmont, New York 

This form is used where listing of all children would crowd the invitation. 


Mr. and Mrs. Gibbs Purdy 

Mr. Allan Nye Purdy 

request the pleasure of 

the company of etc. 

* Handwritten 



Mr. and Mrs. Robjohn 

accept with pleasure 

the kind invitation of 

Mr. and Mrs. Roland Purdy 

to dine 

on Saturday, the eighteenth of February 

at eight o'clock 

Captain McMurray 

accepts with pleasure 

the kind invitation 

of Mrs. Gibbs Purdy 

to dine 

on Saturday, the eighteenth of February 

at eight o'clock 




Usually only infants and very young children are given godparents, among 
those Protestants believing in baptism. When a child for some reason is not 
christened until he is eight or nine years old, presumably at the age of 
understanding and able to read the service with the clergyman, he may 
accept the sacrament on his own cognizance. His parents are present and he 
usually receives a baptismal gift of some significance. 

invitations to the christening Invitations to a christening are always handled 
informally, by brief note, by phone, by telegram, or in person and should 
go only to those believed to be really interested in the event by reason of 
their relationship to or close friendship with the parents. Here is an example: 

Dear Gertrude, 

Cornelia is being christened this coming Sunday at church. Will you stay 
after the regular service for the ceremony and then join us at home for 



Even such an informal note is not necessary if a guest is readily reached 
by phone. 

dressing the baby for the occasion The armful of petticoats and the long, 
embroidered christening dress are lovely but definitely a luxury, as the 
modern baby in everyday life is free of such bundling. If you have a christen- 
ing gown that's been handed down or can borrow one or are given one, use 
it by all means, but a short white dress for a little baby the kind all new- 
born babies receive from someone or other will do for the christening. And 
shoes, even those little silk-topped and soled ones, are not necessary either. 
The baby wears white booties in cold weather and can be barefoot when 
it's warm. If he needs a bonnet and coat, it can be of any baby color, or 
white, but both are removed, as noted, before the ceremony. 

. what others wear Adults and children attending the christening, whether 
at home or in church, dress as for church, and the women's heads are 
covered to be punctilious even at home during the religious ceremony if 
covering the head is the custom for women in the church of the officiating 
clergyman. It is always correct for women to go covered to church or to any 
church ceremony such as a wedding, funeral, or christening, even when it is 
not actually required as, for example, among Congregationalists. Head 
covering is required in church by Catholics and expected by Episcopalians. 


Godparents chosen, according to the custom of various denominations, from 
among close friends and occasionally relatives of the baby's parents are 
preferably of the same religion as the parents. Or, if they are not, they must 
be willing to answer the baptismal questions in the prayer book to serve 
at an Episcopal Christening. Catholic children must have Catholic god- 
parents. And Catholics may not serve as godparents to a child of another 

Godparents about the same age as the parents, or younger, should be 
chosen very carefully from among one's oldest and closest friends, as the' 
association itself should be long and close with the child. In the service 
the godparents promise to oversee the spiritual education of the child and 
see that he is confirmed. They have an implied responsibility of parenthood, 
should the actual parents die before the child reaches maturity (although 
legal guardian arrangements are usually noted in wills). Once asked to 
serve as a godparent, a friend is virtually bound to accept. 

The godparents need not be present at the christening but may be repre- 
sented by proxies, who, too, are chosen from among close friends. Often 
various friends and relatives invited to the christening bring gifts to the 
baby, but the godparents always present him with something he can use 
and perhaps hand down to his own children a silver porringer, a mug, or 
a fork, spoon, and pusher set. One of my children received a magnificent 


engraved Sheffield hot-water plate, fine for keeping his baby food hot but 
also fine for the time he begins entertaining in his bachelor quarters. The 
plate will be excellent for hot hors d'oeuvres. 


If the christening is to take place in church, arrangements are made with 
the clergyman and the time set. As babies are not always too happy about 
their christenings, it is best for them to be brought to the church just 
before the event is to take place. The godparents arrive either with them 
or shortly before and take their places near the font in front of the clergy- 
man, with other friends and relatives near by. 

If the baby has been dressed in cap and jacket for the trip to the church, 
the outer things are removed and, if the church is chilly, the baby wrapped 
in a white afghan and handed to the godmother, without his cap. As the 
clergyman takes his place, the congregation stands. At the proper moment 
in a Protestant ceremony the godmother hands the baby to the clergyman 
and, when asked his name, pronounces it very carefully. In the Catholic cere- 
mony the godmother or a nurse holds the baby over the font to receive 
the holy water. If other than a godparent holds the baby, spiritual contact 
by the godparents is established by the godparents touching the child 
during the ceremony. If the name is at all complicated, it should be written 
down for the minister and handed to him just before the start of the cere- 
mony, as the baby's baptismal name becomes his legally. 

After the close of the service the clergyman signs the baptismal certificate, 
usually included in a little commemorative book where there are spaces 
for the names of the godparents, the parents, and the various witnesses to 
the ceremony. At a Catholic christening the baptismal certificate is not neces- 
sarily presented at the close of the ceremony but is available anytime. It 
is required for the child's first Holy Communion, for Confirmation, and 
for marriage. 

the fee As with other church sacraments, there is never any required fee, 
but parents usually do hand the minister an envelope containing an appro- 
priate amount, anywhere from five dollars to fifty dollars or more, depend- 
ing on whether or not the christening is to be followed by a large luncheon, 
tea, or reception to which the clergyman and his wife or the priest must 
be invited. Of course, particularly on Sunday, they may find it difficult to 


The baby is more likely to enjoy his christening if he may go through the 
short ceremony in the comfort of his own home, with as little change in his 
usual routine as possible. Some Protestant denominations permit home 


christenings. Catholics do not permit home christenings except in case of 
dire emergency before the administration of last rites. 

The requirements are a pleasant, flower-decorated room with space for the 
assembled guests, a small, waist-high table on which is set a silver bowl to 
be used as the font. If the table has a high patina, it is often left bare, or it 
may be covered to the floor with damask. The base of the bowl may be 
placed within a circlet of delicate, white babylike flowers sweet william, 
gypsophila, white violets, anemones, lily of the valley, or even fern. At a 
late afternoon christening followed by tea, white tapers in silver candle- 
sticks, lighted of course, are suitable on the table if they don't crowd the 

At the home christening the clergyman is not necessarily in vestments, but 
if he is to dress he is shown to a special room. If the christening is followed 
by a reception he changes into his street clothes immediately after the cere- 
mony before attending the reception. 

If very young, the baby necessarily appears only briefly just long enough 
for the ceremony. If he is older, and sociable, he may enjoy watching the 
celebration of the occasion by his elders from some quiet corner, where he 
may be occasionally admired but not disturbed by his well-wishers. He may 
even be able to enjoy a grain or two of his christening cake. 


Champagne, plain or in a delicate punch, has replaced the traditional caudle 
cup at christenings. But at an afternoon christening a good dry sherry or, in 
winter, a hot mulled cider or wine might be very welcome. 

A morning or early afternoon christening is sometimes followed by a 
luncheon, often buffet. But whether a tea or a luncheon is given, the food 
is more or less the kind one serves at wedding receptions. There is some kind 
of festive beverage for toasting the baby's health, and the christening cake. 
The godfather proposes the first toast. 

The cake is a white cake with white icing. It may have white icing 
decorations and often bears the baby's initials or name and sometimes the 
date of the christening. 

It should be kept in mind that this is a celebration in honor of the baby, 
following a formal religious ceremony. It has a character quite different 
from a cocktail party and should be kept on such a plane that even the most 
Conservative baby could not object to the behavior and bearing of his elders. 





In Victorian days, when young girls up to the age of about eighteen were 
closely guarded at home their debuts or formal introduction to their parents' 
friends in society had some meaning. Today it is an empty form rejected by 
most young women whose families are in a position to launch them in the 
once expected manner. If a daughter of mine really wanted to make her 
debut, I'd insist on her joining a group in a mass debut. I cannot imagine 
buying a "list" of so-called eligible young men I have never seen to fill out 
the stag line. And I'd be disappointed if any daughter of mine would be 
interested in such shallow social success. 


The individual debut, as I've indicated, is growing rare indeed, and debuts, 
when they do take place, are often en masse. Debutantes make their bows in 
large groups at the various Cotillions and Assemblies in the large cities. These 
are charity affairs to which the girls' fathers make a contribution in lieu of 
spending a usually much larger amount on a private debut. The mass debut 
does, therefore, serve a useful purpose, besides giving a young girl a chance 
to wear a beautiful dress (usually white and diaphanous, though pastel colors 
are often permitted by the Committee). Often the debutante balls are pre- 
ceded by private dinners in honor of individual debutantes. In many cities it 
is expected that each girl attending the ball subscribe for two escorts. 

In the outrageous twenties, and even during the thirties, there were huge 
private debuts especially in New York whose cost and elaborateness were 
positively vulgar. Fifty thousand dollars for a debut was not an eye-popping 
sum by any means. And all this fuss for young girls who had been seen 
around in night clubs and all the most prominent restaurants and resorts 
almost since their emergence from pigtails! 

While the private debut still occurs occasionally, it is usually in the form 
of a dinner party or perhaps a dance at home or in a hotel. However, the 
afternoon reception or tea during the winter and spring college holidays has 
its adherents, especially among the more conservative. The dinner party, 
which is usually given for the girl's friends rather than for those of her 
parents, may be given by her mother or grandmother or other sponsor- 
together with the mother of another girl, as a joint effort. 


Girls who do come out usually wait until they have finished school. But 
as more girls are now going to college instead of stopping their schooling at 
seventeen or eighteen, those who choose higher education often bypass a 
debut. For the debutante is officially on the marriage market, while the col- 
lege girl with four years or more of education ahead of her is probably 
thinking in terms of career-before-marriage. So why should she make her 


The debutante at an evening debut may wear a bouffant dance dress, 
usually white, and her mother's formal evening dress may be dark in color 
but preferably not black. Both may wear some hair ornament flowers or a 
diadem but not hats. The father, in full evening dress, does not stand in 
line but, as at a wedding, usually hovers in the vicinity to act as host. 
Friends of the debutante, in dresses similar to hers, who have been asked 
to "receive" with her do not actually stand in the line, either. They just feel 
a little more important and, at a sit-down supper, are seated with the debu- 
tante. (For details of formal dance see "Formal Dances at Home.") 


The debutante "tea" is more properly a reception, as it is often followed by 
dancing, which naturally requires gentlemen, and the gentlemen, in turn, 
often prefer something stronger than tea. In this case, the tea table ceases 
to be the central theme and must cede honors to the bar. If the debutante 
tea dansant is in a club or hotel, champagne or cocktails may be passed by 
waiters or a table may be set up with a punch such as "Fish House." 

There is a receiving line consisting of the mother of the debutante, or 
whoever the sponsor may be, and the debutante herself. Sometimes her 
father is in line for a short while in the beginning. She carries her father's 
bouquet and displays her other flowers in a floral background where she 
and the hostess stand, usually before a fireplace. Even though it may still be 
daylight, the curtains are drawn and the candles lighted. The debutante 
wears the kind of dress a bridesmaid would wear, usually white but perhaps 
a pale color. Her mother, or sponsor, wears an afternoon dress in a color 
other than black, preferably something fairly neutral, and they both are 
gloved but hatless. The debutante may wear a flower in her hair. 

The debutante, as at an evening debut, asks numerous young men to act 
as ushers and tries to arrange it so that there are approximately eleven men 
to every ten girls. Some of her best friends are asked to "receive" with her. 
They wear fluffy, semiformal dresses, and perhaps the debutante may give 
them identifying corsages, but they do not stand in line. They do, however, 
stay throughout the reception. 



The debutante's flowers come from her relatives, her best beaux, her 
family's friends, but it is not at all obligatory for all attending to send 
flowers and girls never do. 

After all guests have been received the debutante may join the dancing, 
usually accepting her first invitation from her father. 

Guests who must leave before the receiving line breaks up, wait their 
chance on the side lines, then say a brief "good-by and thank-you" first to 
the hostess, then to the bud. But every young man present at a tea dansant 
should seek a dance with the debutante, and well-bred young men remem- 
ber to ask her mother as well as other older ladies present. 



Eventually, in the course of things, a girl begins to narrow her interest in 
young men to one young man. A fairly long courtship and a brief engage- 
ment seem to be a safe formula. The courtship period is casual and informal, 
without pledges on either side. It gives each a chance to know the other 
better and yet make a graceful exit if that seems expedient. 

Wherever possible, a girl should receive an attentive man in her own 
home and not see him exclusively in the artificial atmosphere of the theater, 
restaurants, and other places of amusement. He needs, if possible, to evalu- 
ate her with her family, or at least in her own home, and to see her with 
her friends, to help him decide whether or not life with her would be com- 
fortable and companionable as well as romantically satisfying. 

If her relationships with her family are good and happy, no girl need be 
ashamed to bring a suitor into the most modest home, even if he be from a 
more prosperous background. And, conversely, a man should be highly 
suspicious of the girl who does not wish him to meet her family and her 
intimate friends. It is important, too, for the girl to know and become 
familiar with his background and interests. 

It is impossible for a man and woman to know whether they are really 
suited to one another if they spend all their courtship time in the exclusive 
company of each other. Each should give the other an opportunity to expose 
to searching consideration his best and worst sides. They should see each 
other in the give and take of family life, or at least among close friends with 
kindred interests. Otherwise a resulting marriage is in for rude shocks and 
accusations of, "If I'd known such and such I'd never have married you!" 



If a girl is taken to meet a man's family before he has said anything definite 
about marriage, she should be careful to be friendly and interested, but not 
too interested. Often a man is chary of introducing a girl into his own circle 
before he has very nearly made up his own mind about her, because either 
she or his family and friends might assume a seriousness about the relation- 
ship that may never develop. If he is wise, he might warn his family in 
advance not to jump to conclusions. And the girl must pretend not to hear 
any little inter-family raillery concerning John and herself. Nothing frightens 
a man more than presumption on the part of a woman. If ever a woman 
needs to be obtuse with the male it is when he is courting her but has not 
yet declared himself. 


A man's gifts to any girl other than a relative, before the engagement is 
announced, should be relatively impersonal. In other words, they should 
never admit or imply intimacy or be so costly or conspicuous as to cause 
talk. He might give her a scarf, gloves, or handkerchiefs, but not a dress, 
hat, underthings, hosiery, or fur of any kind. He might give her a book, but 
not an expensive set of books. If she's a bachelor girl with her own quarters 
he might give her a cocktail shaker or a toaster, if she needed or wanted 
one, and he knew her well enough, but never a bed jacket or anything so 
intimate. He would, of course, pay for her taxi but never embarrass her by 
trying to pay the grocery or other household bill at the door or in a shop 
where they happen to be together. To do anything that puts a girl in an 
untenable position is to be less than a gentleman. 

the exception is liquor While a man visiting a woman at her own home may 
not pay for groceries or other household supplies should they happen to be 
delivered, he does pay for anything, such as liquor or food, he has ordered 
sent in, just as he would if he were the host in a restaurant. If, with his 
hostess' permission, he has ordered a special dinner sent in from a caterer, 
instead of taking her out, he takes care of the check. If he feels he has ac- 
cepted her hospitality too often and wishes to replenish her bar supplies, he 
may do so within reasonable limits. And always with her permission. 

refusing A gift A too-intimate or too-expensive gift is sometimes offered by a 
man who just doesn't know any better. If a girl receives such a gift she 
should be tactful. She should not show it nor try to explain it. She should, 
instead, return it to the donor with some such remark as this, "I know you 
didn't realize it, but I couldn't possibly accept such a gift from you, much as 
I appreciate your kindness in wanting to make me a gift." If she does this in 
a kindly way he won't be too embarrassed, and she won't be compromised. 



The number of men today who ask, in so many words, that a girl marry them 
is probably very limited, despite the testimony of the movies and fiction. 
The engagement is usually approached by a very circuitous route, probably 
because young people now have ample opportunity to spend time in each 
other's company and to know each other well before any discussion of mar- 
riage takes place. Victorian times must have been very difficult for suitors, 
because it was only after they had proposed, and received father's consent, 
that they had any opportunity to know the girl of their choice. And even then 
contact was on the most restricted plane and sternly chaperoned. 

Any girl with common sense knows when a man is trying to propose and 
either helps him commit himself or discourages him from doing so before 
he has gone too far. It is certainly unkind to encourage the expression of a 
proposal only to turn it down. Yet an obstinate coyness on the part of a girl 
who would really like to accept a proposal, were it offered, often deters a 
man, who fears he will be refused. In other words, it is up to the woman, 
at the right time, to let a man know that a proposal, if offered, will be ac- 


These days people feel it is their right and privilege to become engaged 
and even to marry without the prior permission or sometimes even the 
knowledge of the bride's parents or of the groom's. Perhaps the pre-proposal 
conference with father is archaic, but the well-bred young man will want 
to make some attempt to confer with his future father-in-law alone or in the 
presence of his fiancee. The reason for this is still the practical one. A girl's 
parents, especially if they have been supporting their daughter, have the 
right to know just how her fiance proposes to take care of her after the 
marriage, in short, what his income is and his savings, if any, and what may 
be his future expectations. 

Many young marriages need some subsidy. But for young people to as- 
sume blithely that their parents will go on bearing some of the burden of 
their support, without having had a complete understanding as to the extent 
of the help beforehand, is to court trouble. 

In the ecstasy of love many a young pair vastly overestimate their ability 
to get along on the income available to them once they leave their parents' 
homes. They have little or no idea of what it costs to run even a simple 
establishment in the way they have been accustomed to living. A business- 
like talk with the bride's father or perhaps a conference with all four parents 
can help start a young marriage along the right path. If the bride's father 
knows, for example, that the attractive and promising young man Mary 
wants to marry has only five hundred dollars in the bank, he may be able to 
augment that amount with a substantial cash gift in lieu of an elaborate 

j 17 

wedding. Or he might plan a very practical present, such as a major furnish- 
ing item for their living quarters. 

I once knew a debutante who, given her choice of a $20,000 wedding or 
the cash, chose the wedding with its twenty bridesmaids, full orchestra, 
champagne, several hundred guests and all the attendant expense, and then 
went to live in a one-room apartment with her young husband, whose 
salary was fifty dollars a week and whose savings were nil. Most brides don't 
have such a choice or so little sense, either but they can be helped to face 
reality with the counsel of older advisers. 

It is very comfortable to start married life on a sound financial basis. If 
you are marrying on a shoestring, there is no shame in admitting it to one's 
family and intimate friends. In this way the inevitable presents can have 
a more practical aspect, especially if the engaged couple prepares a list of 
the things needed from a toaster to dinnerware and leaves this list, provi- 
dentially, with their parents. 


It is wise for a couple to fix a date for the expected marriage, as a too 
attenuated engagement is hard for both, but particularly hard for the girl 
should the marriage not take place and her other possible suitors slip out 
of her circle. Except under extraordinary circumstances, a formal engage- 
ment should not last more than six months. And any man or woman who 
lets the engagement run into a matter of years for any reason whatsoever is 
not a good marriage risk at least not for that possible partner. 


Engagements were made to be broken. Never, if you have just become en- 
gaged, assume that the engagement will necessarily terminate in marriage. 
If more engagements were honestly viewed before marriages are entered into 
there would be far fewer divorces. A man or woman should never be made 
to feel that by virtue of the exchange of an engagement ring he or she is 
irrevocably committed to the appointed marriage. This does not mean that 
an engagement should be lightly entered into or lightly broken. But an 
engagement is a tentative thing. It means, "If all goes well between us, we 
hope to be married at a later date." 


Many a modern bride eschews a diamond or any other engagement ring. 
If she does want one, she should help choose it, with the kind of wedding 
band she wants in mind. If her wedding ring is to be wide, she may decide 
that it would be more attractive to have that inset with small diamonds or 
some other stone, making it engagement-and-wedding ring in one. Two 
rings on one finger don't always make an attractive or comfortable combina- 



tion. Sometimes an eager fiance, buying an engagement ring without his 
bride-to-be, selects one that can't be worn with an ordinary wedding ring, 
so that after she is married the bride can wear her engagement ring only 
if she takes off her wedding ring, or she must have a new wedding ring made 
to fit under the engagement ring setting. If an engagement ring is given, 
the wedding ring should be of the same metal. 

how much for the ring? We used to believe a young man should buy the 
finest engagement ring his circumstances permitted. If the engagement is to 
be fairly long and if a ring seems very important to the girl, she should 
have a ring. What it costs, whether or not it is a diamond, what size the 
stone is are all irrelevant. Any girl worth her salt prefers a ring her man 
can afford to one for which he must go into debt or which his father must 
buy. On the other hand, she will gladly accept a family heirloom, if she is 
offered it, in place of a new ring. It is possible she may really prefer some 
other article of jewelry, even when money is no consideration a watch, 
bracelet, or pin. 


Engagement parties are given by the parents of the bride-to-be. Invited 
to them are those closest to the couple relatives and friends of both 
families, young and old. Occasionally, if the fiance is not present, the party 
is limited to women guests and may be a luncheon or tea. Sometimes it is 
an evening reception, dinner, or "at home." The news of the engagement 
is made known in various ways. At a luncheon or tea, guests may be met at 
the door with a basket of corsages or individual flowers such as carnations 
to which are attached double cards with the two names "Betty and Tom" 
or if one or the other is quite unknown to the majority, the names in full. 
In some parts of the country great ingenuity is shown in the disclosure of 
the news. At smaller gatherings, especially family dinners, a toast to the 
couple often serves this purpose nicely and is proposed by the girl's father, 
at the end of the meal, in champagne. 

The bride-to-be may have her engagement ring on her finger at the 
announcement party as she does not wish to remove it once it has been 
given to her. However, she does not officially show it to her friends until 
the announcement is made either by her father or in some other way if 
the surprise element is to be maintained. An engaged girl may give her 
fiance an engagement gift after she has received her ring. It is usually some- 
thing of a personal nature, such as gold cuff links, a watch or watch chain 
(for evening wear), or studs. 

Guests at an engagement party may or may not, as they wish, bring gifts. 
Linens, household appliances, jewelry, lingerie, are all suitable. 


Although the bride may help select her wedding ring, she does not see it 
again until the wedding. 

The engagement ring is not engraved on the inside, but the wedding band 


usually is "J.W.M. to A.P." and the date, with the groom's initials first, or 
"A.P. J.W.M." and the date, with the bride's initials first. If the band is 
wide, there may be room for anything else that may seem apropos. Inside 
my own for special reasons a tiny rose is engraved on each anniversary. 
The modern bride doesn't worry about the occasional removal of her wed- 
ding ring especially if she has one set with jewels that need professional 


If the groom wishes to wear a wedding ring, he should select one that is 
plain gold and definitely masculine. It is engraved as a gift from his bride 
"A.P. to J.W.M.," with the date and, if the bride wishes, any phrase or 
motto that means something to them both. The groom's ring is the bride's 
gift to him. 


If a girl decides to break her engagement she returns the man's ring, al- 
though legally it is hers to keep a gesture that would certainly be con- 
sidered mercenary. If her fiance dies no one would expect her to return the 
ring to his family, if he has one, although if she does not know them well and 
has received a family heirloom as an engagement present she should at least 
offer to return it. If she has been given a new ring she can continue to wear 
it, but not on the engagement finger. She may wish to have the stone reset 
in some other piece of jewelry. 


With very few exceptions, it is a very bad choice for a young couple to plan 
to live with either set of parents, even on a temporary basis. If their parents 
live well the young people may be reluctant to start out in the more modest 
kind of home they can provide for themselves. It is safer for the marriage 
if the newly married people share the home of strangers rather than that 
of either of their families. It is difficult for even the most understanding 
parents to think of their children under their own roof as anything but chil- 
dren. Even the youngest husband needs to feel he is the head of the house. 


Here is a complete engagement announcement. 


Mr. and Mrs. Loring Talbott, of 10 Low Place, announce the engagement 
of their daughter, Cynthia Ann, to Mr. Asa Griggs Santos, son of Dr. and 
Mrs. Jose Santos of Havana, Cuba. 

Miss Talbott is a graduate of Miss Hewitt's Classes and of Vassar College. 
Mr. Santos is a senior in the Yale School of Medicine and a member of Phi 
Beta Kappa. The wedding will take place in June. 

It is a good idea to put some kind of heading on the news story so a busy 



editor can see at a glance what it is about. To look professional, the head 
should space out to the same number of "characters" for each line. Each 
letter and space is a character in the count. For your purpose you needn't 
be too accurate about it. 

In the news story just given as an example, Low Place is, let us say, in 
the town in which the paper is published, so it is not necessary to give more 
than the street address. 


gagement is between very prominent people the engagement announcement 
may carry all the family information about the couple. But usually the en* 
gagement announcement is brief and the more detailed information, if it is 
considered newsworthy, is carried by the papers at the time of the wedding. 
But when it is given with the engagement news it is usually repeated when 
the wedding is reported, so if you think the papers will use it with either or 
both stories, furnish it yourself, don't leave it to telephone reportage. 


When an engagement is of sufficient news importance to warrant straight 
news and perhaps press association coverage to other cities, it is best to 
decide on the date you would like to see it appear in all your city's papers 
simultaneously. Then you furnish it to each paper in written form one day, 
or, preferably more in advance with the notation FOR RELEASE MON- 
DAY, FEBRUARY 6TH typed in the upper left-hand corner in capital 
letters. To the city editor, to whom such a release should be directed, this 
means that you have put the same limitation on all other releases furnished 
his rival papers. If in his estimation the announcement does not merit regu- 
lar news coverage, the city editor will route it through to the society editor, 
to whom such announcements are ordinarily sent. Weeklies need engage- 
ment and wedding announcements three or more days before their publica- 
tion dates. 

choice of the release date Why so many people send in their wedding 
and engagement announcements for the Sunday papers, I don't know. That 
is one way to have your cherished notice attenuated and lost in a sea of 
other notices or dropped entirely, because of the competition from announce- 
ments the editor may consider more newsworthy for one reason or the other. 
Even if your notice does get into the Sunday paper, it is very likely that your 
friends will fail to see it because so many are published that day. And the 
possibility of a picture being used on Sunday is very slight indeed again 
because of the competition. But Monday is a slow news day. An engagement 
announcement sent to an urban paper for hoped-for Monday release should 
be so marked (FOR RELEASE MONDAY, FEBRUARY 6TH) so that it 
won't get into the Sunday paper by mistake. It should arrive at the news- 
paper office sometime Saturday, preferably in the morning before eleven. 
Wedding announcements should be timed to reach papers so the news can 


appear as soon after the wedding as possible. It is quite usual for early 
editions of city papers to publish details of an important afternoon wedding 
before it actually has taken place. It is convenient for the paper to have the 
story all set and ready to run before the wedding occurs. Wedding news 
that arrives very late must be very important to make the paper. 

identifying your releases If you send news to the paper or to radio stations, 
always place your name, address, and telephone number in the upper right- 
hand corner of the page. This is so the editor will know who stands back 
of the story and to whom he may turn for additional information, if needed. 
Unidentified stories are often discarded by editors, unless they wish to 
bother to check the information by phone. 

In a household where there is a social secretary, her name appears on 
social announcements from the family. Or the father of the bride or engaged 
girl can have his own secretary prepare and send out the information. She 
can refer to him or to the girl's mother any requests for additional informa- 
tion. Any member of the family or a close friend may act as spokesman 
with the press, but the bride or bride-to-be does not send out her own 
notices under her own name, even though she may prepare them for some- 
one else to send for her. She may, of course, answer questions from the 
newspapers herself, but it is more usual for editors to call her parents for 
added information, if they are available for comment. 

sending pictures If you wish, send a picture of the engaged girl with the 
announcement. The picture should have a caption attached, not written on 
the back of the picture. Type the information, "Miss Cynthia Ann Talbott 
whose engagement to Mr. Asa G. Santos has been announced," on a piece 
of 8" x 10" typewriter paper. Enclose picture, accompanying release, and 
protective cardboard in a mailing envelope and send "special" to papers of 
your choice or, better, have delivered by hand to either city or society desk 
as the news seems to warrant. 

is the man's picture furnished? Wedding pictures often include the groom, 
but pictures used with the engagement announcement usually do not in- 
clude the fiance. However, when the principals are page-one news the paper 
will usually request a picture of the fiance if it does not have one of him in 
its files or "morgue." For example, if an unknown college student became 
engaged to the daughter of one of the wealthiest men in the country the 
papers would certainly consider the young man worth a picture and might, 
in fact, go to some lengths to secure one, if it wasn't furnished with the an- 
nouncement from the family. 

different pictures to competing papers Newspapers prefer, if possible, 
to receive pictures that differ somewhat from those furnished to the other 
dailies in the same town or city. When the girl selects her pictures from the 
proofs, she should keep this in mind and try to choose several poses instead 
of having just one printed. Pictures for the press should be furnished on 



glossy stock, 8" x 10" size for easy filing. It is presumptuous to ask the 
paper to return them after use or even if they don't use them. 

don't censor the press If you are a newsworthy person it is probable that 
all leading newspapers have a file of information on you or your family. If 
an announcement of your marriage is going to the papers and you have 
been married before, do not omit that information, as some paper is sure to 
include it, perhaps to the irritation of others that didn't check their files 
more carefully. The information does not have to be played up, but it is 
part of the story. A fine or two at the bottom of the story can cover it: "This 
is Mrs. Morgan's second marriage. Her first husband was Robert Henry 
from whom she was divorced last year. She had two children by this mar- 
riage, Patricia and Ogden Henry." 

The polite phrase "from whom she was divorced" is better than "whom 
she divorced," which sounds accusative. Even if her husband divorced her, 
the fact is never stated in social announcements. Never, ". . . Robert Henry 
who divorced her last year." 


If a girl whose parents were divorced and whose mother has subsequently 
died has been brought up by her aunt and uncle, the announcement of her 
engagement reads like this: 

Mr. and Mrs. Seth McClure, of 7 Fifth Avenue, announce the engagement 
of their niece, Sally Guthrie, to Mr. Penn Snyder, Jr., son of Mr. and Mrs. 
Penn Snyder, also of this city [often the fiance's complete address is omitted 
from the engagement announcement]. Miss Guthrie is the daughter of Mrs. 
McClure's late sister, Mrs. Broadhurst Guthrie and Mr. Joseph Guthrie. [This 
indicates that Sally's father was divorced from her mother at the time of her 
mother's death and that he has married again. The phrasing is necessary, for 
to call her the daughter of Mr. Joseph Guthrie and the late Mrs. Guthrie 
would be, in effect, to kill off his second wife.] 

When parents are divorced the mother makes the announcement but the 
father must be mentioned in the story. Let such an announcement read: 

Mrs. French Weeks, of 1125 Park Avenue, announces the marriage of her 
daughter, Miss Pamela Weeks, etc. Miss Weeks is also the daughter of Mr. 
George Ranson Weeks of Asheville, N.C. 

If this form is used no mention of the word "divorce" is necessary, as it 
is clear the parents are divorced and it is assumed, unless otherwise noted, 
that Miss Weeks lives with her mother. 

If one parent is dead, the announcement reads: 

Mr. James Muncie announces the engagement of his daughter, etc., etc. 
Miss Muncie's late mother was the former Geraldine Pew, descendant of 


General Custis Pew, one-time business associate of Abraham Lincoln. (This 
is sheer fabrication, of course, but it is agreeable to give the mother some 
identification of her own in this case as she is obviously "the late Mrs. James 
Muncie," and some mention of her must be made. This is better than, "Mr. 
James Muncie and the late Mrs. Muncie.") 

When a woman has reached "a certain age" she has the choice of letting 
her parents or some relative, such as her brother, if her parents are dead, 
announce her marriage or of doing it in conjunction with the groom. Formal 
engagements between people, one of whom, at least, has been married 
before, are rarely announced. The publicized engagement period does seem 
the prerogative of youth, along with the bridal veil and orange blossoms. 
Older or divorced people usually forgo both in favor of a simple announce- 
ment of their marriage. If a joint announcement is to be made it reads: 

Mrs. Prime Holden, of 8 East 10th Street, and Mr. Rutherford Tyng, of 
Princeton, New Jersey, announce that their marriage took place Saturday, 
April 3rd, at the Church of the Ascension, Baltimore, Maryland. Mrs. 
Holden, the former Elsbeth Finn, is the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Clarence 
Finn, of Baltimore. Her marriage to Mr. Harry Holden, of Tulsa, Oklahoma, 
was terminated by divorce last year. 

Mr. Tyng, son of Professor and Mrs. Rufus Tyng of Princeton, is an in- 
structor in mathematics at Princeton University, where his father heads the 
Physics Department. The couple will make their home in Philadelphia. 

Under special circumstances sometimes a bachelor or an older, unmarried 
woman adopts a daughter who may or may not have taken her adoptive 
parent's name. In such cases the engagement notice reads: 

Miss Wilhelmina Bosworth announces the engagement of her adopted 
daughter, Sybil Frank, etc. 


Dr. Orrin Metcalf announces the engagement of his adopted daughter, 
Florence, etc. 

When a child has been adopted by a couple, taken their name, and been 
brought up as one of their own children there is no reason why the adoptive 
relationship need be mentioned in the engagement or marriage announce- 
ments, even if the fact is generally known. But if the child bears another 
name it is necessary. 

Occasionally you see an engagement announcement or a notice of a mar- 
riage where some mention is made of a legally changed name. For example: 

Mr. and Mrs. Josef Greenberg, of 50 Central Park South, announce the 
marriage of their daughter Dorothy to Mr. Robert Harris, son of Mr. and 
Mrs. Chaim Hirsh, also of this city. Mr. Harris changed his name legally. 



This clears up Mr. Harris's status but is not, I believe, strictly necessary 
so long as the notice states that he is the Hirshes' son. Readers will assume 
he changed his name, something he has a perfect right to do without legal 
recourse. And if the change did not go through the courts, it is certainly not 
necessary to mention the name change and the term "changed his name 
legally" is not used. 


If a family is well-known to society editors, the news may be telephoned to 
each one. But there is the risk of having one paper "scoop" another on the 
news where a regular society column is featured, and details may be ex- 
tracted from the person phoning during the course of the conversation that 
he may not realize he's giving and which may make him squirm when he 
sees them in print. The simple, typed, straightforward announcement con- 
taining all the facts and released simultaneously to all local papers is the 
safest way to handle engagement and marriage news. There are society and 
other columnists who may embroider news in their own fashion. But news 
once freely given out is beyond control, and one should be able to accept 
with grace any interpretation the press may wish to put on it, short of down- 
right libel. To make an issue over some of the fatuous remarks that appear 
in the gossip columns is often only to blow something relatively innocent 
into a cause cilebve. 

If it seems really necessary to set one of these scribes right, the offended 
person should do so in writing and with great dignity. But before doing so, 
he should consider that most of the incorrect statements gossip columnists 
make they never retract or if they do retract, it may be in a manner that 
may be less pleasant than the original statement. For example, "Mrs. Borden 
Ring tells me" (this makes them seem very chummy) "she didn't shed her 
late husband in Reno, as stated here last week. He died. But weren't you in 
Reno at the time, Mrs. Ring and for the usual purpose?" 

if the files are wbong One reason it is a good idea to furnish complete family 
information, if it will be of interest to the papers and if they are sure to pub- 
lish it anyway, is that very probably there is some incorrect information in 
the newspapers' morgues. When a person or a family is prominent, clips, 
sometimes extensive ones, are kept on all his or its published activities. If 
one story or item appears and some information in it is incorrect, that goes 
into the file, too, perhaps to plague the family or individual regularly from 
time to time as what he does makes news. I was once referred to as the niece 
or perhaps it was the grandniece of Mrs. Cornelius Vanderbilt, which I 
am not, but I expect to see that reference turn up from time to time because 
it is in many newspaper morgues. 



If notices of an engagement have appeared in the newspapers and the en- 
gagement is subsequently broken, additional notices are often sent, though 
not too hastily. Lovers quarrel, but they also make up. The announcement, 
if sent, is brief and to the point: 

Dr. and Mrs. Richard Shawe, of 66 Riverside Terrace, announce that the 
engagement of their daughter, Celeste, to Mr. Rertram Farmer, has been 
broken by mutual consent. 

As engraved engagement announcements are not sent out it is not neces- 
sary to retract the announcement to one's friends except in the most casual 
way in conversation, in letters, "by the way, Rert and I broke our engage- 
ment recently." It is not necessary or wise to go into the reasons for a broken 
engagement outside of the family circle. 

how not to announce or break an engagement It is a travesty on mar- 
riage when young people, often under pressure from press agents, "an- 
nounce" their engagements or the breaking of them in night clubs or res- 
taurants. Such announcements should come from the girl's parents through 
formal notice in the press if the families are of sufficient interest to warrant 
publication of the news. Of course, an engagement may be announced at 
a party, possibly in a restaurant but not in a night club. If an engagement 
party of some kind is given a luncheon, tea, or dinner it is more usual for 
it to be given at the bride-to-be's home and it is limited to the immediate 
families and very close friends. 


It would seem axiomatic that you can't be engaged while still married to 
someone else. It is improper to announce an engagement while either mem- 
ber of the future union is still in the throes of divorce, Hollywood and cafe 
society dispatches notwithstanding. And for a woman to wear or even accept 
a man's engagement ring, even without announcement of an engagement, 
while her divorce from his predecessor is still pending is the height of bad 


If young people didn't want to make love most of the time during the 
period of their engagement it wouldn't seem normal. Everyone around them 
is conscious of how they feel and, up to a certain point, touched by their 
ecstasy. Rut if this joy becomes too tactile, onlookers are visibly embarrassed. 
Good manners always dictate that men and women be restrained about 
public demonstrations of their physical feeling toward one another. 

For engaged people of all ages, society expects chaperonage of a kind. 



They may, of course, spend long days and evenings together alone, but they 
may not go off for a week end or overnight unless adequately chaperoned. 
The company of another unmarried couple does not fill the requirement, 
but a married couple even somewhat younger than themselves vs acceptable. 
So is a parent, guardian, or an older close relative of either sex such as an 
aunt, uncle, grandmother, or grandfather or any mature woman, married, 
single, widowed, or divorced. 

If circumstances require it, an engaged couple may travel in a public 
conveyance overnight or even longer to get to some destination where chap- 
eronage will be provided. But of course their accommodations are not in 
close proximity, such as an upper and lower berth or adjoining staterooms, 
and their behavior must be so restrained that they will be quite unremark- 
able to other travelers. 

If these rules seem hard and conventional to modern young people they 
should remind themselves that the engagement is a trial flight which can 
easily end in a crash landing. It is best to follow the rules, for few young, 
love-bewitched people are invulnerable enough to bring down social criti- 
cism without harm to their relationship. 




It is not strange that when man faces the mystery of death he turns to 
religion for comfort and help. There are many civil marriages, but it is almost 
unheard of for us to bury the dead without at least a prayer. However un- 
rooted we may be in our religious beliefs, the time of death turns us to the 
formalities of religion, to the clergyman, the priest, or the rabbi to perform 
the final, dignified rites. 

The family's responsibility when death occurs is partly religious, partly 
social, partly legal. 


Every family should have an "emergency" file in its strongbox. In this file 
should be listed the name of a funeral director to be called when the need 
occurs. If the family owns a burial plot or a mausoleum, the deed should be 
in the file, as it will be required by the funeral director. If one or more 
members of the family prefer cremation, a note to that effect should be in 


the file, even if the requesr has Deen placed in the will. A copy of each birth 
certificate should also be in the folder (the Board of Health supplies photo- 
static or certified copies for family records at a small cost). Also included 
should be the names and addresses of all close relatives and friends who 
should be informed. 

If these things are kept all together, whoever is placed in charge of the 
funeral often a relative or friend will be able to handle the many details. 
Without the birth certificate, for example, he would have difficulty in sup- 
plying the necessary information for the death certificate. 

It is also important that a list of all bank accounts, social security num- 
bers, bonds, notes, and mortgages of the various members of the family be 
listed, together with a notation on the whereabouts of safe deposit boxes, 
insurance policies, and wills. Many a friend or relative put in charge of ? 
funeral has been in considerable doubt as to how much expense he should 
incur for the estate. 

The name and address of the attorney or attorneys drawing the will or 
wills should be on file, and the person in charge of the funeral should notify 
the lawyer before the funeral takes place. 

When death occurs and a doctor has not been in attendance, or when the 
person's religious beliefs preclude medical care, the county medical exam- 
inerin some states the coronor must be called to determine the cause of 
death and issue and sign the death certificate. This notification properly 
takes place before the calling of the mortician, who may not act without the 
medical examiner's permission. 


Whoever is chosen to make funeral arrangements should not be, if possible, 
any of the most bereaved. Our attitude toward funerals has changed very 
much for the better, and we now readily accept the fact that an elaborate 
funeral whose cost will leave the family in serious debt does shallow honor 
to the deceased. But a frightened young widow, unable to see ahead and 
perhaps ill-informed on her late husband's finances, can't be expected to 
make objective decisions concerning the various costs of the funeral. 

For a long time the trend has been toward simple funerals, even among 
people who can afford elaborate ones. No one but the funeral director knows 
or cares about the fine details of caskets and their relative expensiveness or 
inexpensiveness. In fact, many people of sensibility shudder at the pre- 
tentious ugliness of expensive caskets, remembering that great heroes are 
often buried in simple, clean-lined pine boxes. 

Whoever undertakes the responsibility of the funeral should realize that 
he or she is entering into a business contract and under highly emotional 
circumstances where those most involved may be of little help in making 
important decisions. Where expense must be regarded, he should discuss 
the necessity with the mortician and make as many decisions as possible 
himself. It is sometimes months before funds can be released for payment 



of bills he will incur, and in complicated cases it is sometimes necessary to 
get the court's permission to pay them. Therefore, all these matters must be 
handled with great care and conservatism. 

If the deceased or his family has had some continuing religious affiliation, 
there is no problem concerning the choice of a clergyman to officiate. Other- 
wise a clergyman of any faith may, with the family's permission, be asked 
to read a burial service. When the funeral takes place in a city and the 
interment is in a family plot at considerable distance, one or more members 
of the family or its representatives go with the body to the place of burial 
and a local funeral director must usually be retained to handle the inter- 
ment. He asks a local clergyman to conduct the brief service at the grave. 
A local florist may supply one or more fresh floral offerings. 


Among many people, and especially among Orthodox, Conservative, and 
some Reform Jews, the shroud is still used for burial. Otherwise, the 
person in charge of the funeral delivers to the funeral director the kind of 
clothing the deceased would have worn to church, choosing for older 
women soft materials in solid, quiet tones of lavender, blue, beige, gray, or 
taupe, with long sleeves and a high neckline. Evening dresses are unsuitable, 
and black is rarely used. Young girls are often dressed in white. Children 
are dressed as for Sunday school. 

Clothes furnished for men should be, too, the kind they would have worn 
to church, usually something from their existing wardrobe. A cutaway is 
suitable, or a dark blue or dark gray or Oxford suit. Evening clothes are not 
suitable, nor are sports suits, although in the summer a white linen or any 
light tropical weave suit may be used. 

People are no longer buried with their jewels, although many are with 
their wedding rings. Directions concerning rings or earrings (in pierced 
ears) are expected by the funeral director. 


The custom of hanging the bell goes back to the days when doorbells were 
bells with clappers hung on or adjacent to the door. When someone died, 
the clapper was muffled in cloth. This later developed into ribbon streamers 
in white, purple or black, with white or purple flowers. Like mourning, the 
bell hanging was for the protection of the bereaved, so that anyone ap- 
proaching the house would do so with quiet dignity. 

Today, few hang the bell. And it is never done except when the funeral 
is to take place in the home. When a family still wishes to adhere to the 
old custom it so instructs the funeral director, who orders the flowers and 
has them hung just below the doorbell of either apartment or private house. 



The telescoping of our living quarters has brought into existence more and 
more "Funeral Homes" some simple and functional like the old-fashioned 
funeral parlors, where a funeral was held only if there was no suitable home 
from which it could take place, others elaborate establishments with their 
own private chapels and pipe organs. Today it is very usual indeed for a 
funeral to take place in a mortuary chapel even when home facilities are 
quite adequate to accommodate a large attendance at the services. 

The use of the funeral home is usually included in the over-all cost of the 
funeral, with the occasional exception of a charge for music. 

If the funeral takes place at home, the largest room is usually selected, one 
preferably which can be shut off from the rest of the household. Folding 
chairs are provided by the mortician. 


The person in charge of the funeral prepares the death notices, which are 
then inserted, often by the mortician, in one or more morning papers, in 
large cities, and, if thought advisable, in any evening papers that carry these 
notices. If the death takes place in a suburb the notices are carried by the 
nearest large dailies likely to be read by friends of the deceased. These 
notices are placed at regular space rates, and when it is desired that friends 
in distant cities be notified publicly the line is often added "Chicago (or 
Houston) papers please copy." Such out-of-town papers then may run a 
news item on the death. 

When the person who died has been very well-known socially or other- 
wise it is probable that major papers in his city already have a prepared 
obituary on file which may need merely to be brought up to date through 
telephone checking with a member of the family. Each paper has an editor 
in charge of this kind of news, and the placing of the obituary notice is his 
cue to get the facts from a family representative, if the paper considers the 
death generally newsworthy. 

As in the case of weddings and engagements sure to be considered news, 
it is wise for someone familiar with the details of the deceased's important 
activities to prepare that information in written form as soon as possible, as 
such news runs the day of the death or, at the latest, the day the obituary 
notice first appears. Although the information is usually called for over the 
phone, it is certainly better to have it written out for ready reference, as in 
many cases all papers call, as well as the wire services. Additional stories, 
when a person has been prominent, often run on the actual day of the 

A paid death notice may be phoned to papers selected, but it should 
always be read from carefully checked information. Where it is given over 
the phone the newspaper's classified department usually calls back for re- 
check, to be certain the notice is legitimate. The form is : 



Volkman Lawrence Karl, on November 23 (year optional), husband (or 
beloved husband) of Helen Schroeder Volkman (his wife's maiden name is 
always given to aid identification) and father of Louise and Peter Schroeder 
Volkman (the daughters are listed first). Funeral at (name of church and 
address, if necessary), at 2 p.m., Tuesday. 

Sometimes, especially when there was no generally known preliminary 
illness, the word "suddenly" may be added after the names of the immediate 
family. If a man was married his wife is always listed first, not his parents, 
whose names, in this case, usually do not appear in the paid notice but who 
are mentioned, of course, in news stories, if any. 

A woman's death notice reads: 

Jardine Diana Minor (her maiden name), wife (or beloved wife) of, etc. 

If the funeral is to take place out of town, friends are so notified in the death 
notice "Funeral at Emmanuel Church, Rye, New York. Train leaves Grand 
Central at 1 p.m." 

The age is usually not given in the death notice, except in the case of a 
child. It is often mentioned in accompanying news stories. 


Unless the words "Funeral Private" appear in the death notice, any friend 
or acquaintance of the deceased or his family may attend the services, as do 
interested strangers if the funeral is in church. Close friends or relatives may 
ask the person in charge of arrangements for permission to attend the inter- 
ment if they are able to provide their own transportation or if there seems 
to be adequate room in the funeral cars. They should be very certain that 
their presence at so difficult a time will be of real comfort to the immediate 
family, which usually prefers to be alone with the clergyman at the last 
brief rites. 


Sometimes the death notice reads "Please omit flowers," and this request 
should be scrupulously respected. At some Protestant funerals the family 
prefers that the casket have one floral offering, that of the family. They 
sometimes request privately or in the death notice that flowers be sent tc 
hospitals and, of course, this is thoughtful whenever a notice reads "Please 
omit flowers." Flowers then may be sent to hospital wards "In memory of 
from" and the family may be so notified by note or when the funeral call 
is made. 

It is important, however, to know that one never sends flowers to an Ortho- 
dox Jewish funeral. Often they are not desired at a Conservative or a 
Reform funeral. And it is preferable not to send them to a Catholic funeral, 


as they may not be taken into the church (only the family's one spray and 
occasionally an altar arrangement are permitted). 

When flowers are sent to a funeral a plain white card is attached with 
the name of the sender, "Helen Murray" or "Mr. and Mrs. Frederick Wal- 
lace," or a visiting card (a husband-and-wife card) may be used with a 
line drawn tnrough the names in the case of intimate friends and the mes- 
sage, "Deepest sympathy from Jean and Hugh," written in ink. The envelope 
is simply addressed to: 

The funeral of Mr. Lawrence Karl Volkman 

Silvan Funeral Home 


Where the funeral is to take place in church but the body is at a funeral 
home, friends may choose to send flowers immediately on hearing of the 
death, and to the funeral home, if calls are being received there, or to the 
church in time for the funeral. In the latter case the flowers are addressed to: 

The funeral of Mr. Lawrence Karl Volkman 

Emmanuel Church 

Rye, New York 

Funeral 2 p.m., Tuesday 

flowers after the funeral It is a growing custom for close friends to send 
flowers to the family of the deceased sometime during the weeks following 
the funeral (except to Orthodox Jews). They should be addressed to the 
hostess and the accompanying card should avoid reference to the bereave- 
ment. Instead it may read: "Kindest thoughts from us all, Peggy and John." 


Most Catholics prefer mass cards to flowers. When a Catholic dies his 
friends and relatives, Catholic and non-Catholic, go to a priest and arrange 
for a mass to be said for the soul. The priest accepts an offering for the 
mass and presents a card to the donor stating that a mass is to be said for 
the repose of the soul of the deceased, its method of celebration High or 
Low and sometimes indicating the exact time of the mass. The card is 
given or sent by the donor to the family of the deceased, usually before the 
funeral. These masses may be arranged, too, for a year after the death on 
its anniversary or at any time immediately after the death has taken place. 


Now that the mortuary chapel has so much replaced the home in the laying 
out of the dead, people are often confused as to where they are expected to 



make their funeral calls. If they are close friends or relatives they may call 
both at home and at the chapel if they wish, leaving their cards or signing 
the register at the funeral chapel. If calls are received at the funeral chapel 
some family representative should be present at least during the afternoon 
and early evening, when calls are likely to be made. 


It is a matter of family choice whether a casket is left open or closed before 
the funeral. At State funerals the open casket is optional, but it is always 
closed during Service for Episcopalians and Jews. At Catholic services, which 
must take place in church, the casket is open only for the clergy and 
occasionally for a high-ranking layman. 

pallbearers Among Christians pallbearers are always men, and, today, 
merely honorary in that they seldom actually carry the casket and serve 
only at large funerals of distinguished men. There are never less than four 
and rarely more than ten chosen for this honor from among those personally 
and professionally close to the deceased. Jews have pallbearers for both 
men and women. 

The pallbearers are usually chosen by the person in charge of funeral 
arrangements, after he has received suggestions from various members of 
the family. The family itself should be represented among the pallbearers, 
and the other men chosen must accept the honor unless there is some very 
valid reason for refusing, such as illness. 

Sometimes the casket is already in place before the altar and the floral 
offerings are arranged on and around it by the time the congregation gathers. 
In this case, just before the start of the service, the family may file in from 
the vestry and into the front pew, usually to the right of the center aisle, 
or, more usually, may enter from the front of the church just before the 
start of the service. The honorary pallbearers sit in the front pews to the 
family's left. At the end of the service after the family has retired to the 
vestry, the pallbearers, walking two by two, are first to leave the church, 
marching slowly in front of the casket if it is to be carried from the church 
at that time, or marching out slowly alone and into the waiting cars that 
carry them with the family to the cemetery. 

If the casket is carried into the church the pallbearers precede it, march- 
ing slowly, two by two, and stepping into the left-hand first pews as they 
reach the front of the church. 

Pallbearers who have come from out of town and who may not be able 
to make their funeral calls upon the family before leaving often call briefly 
at the vestry, before or after the service, to pay their respects. 

ushers and seating ARRANGEMENTS While the mortician has men in attendance 
at every funeral who may act as ushers, and the sexton in a large church 
has a staff for the purpose, it is preferable that men relatives likely to know 


many of those attending the funeral act in this capacity. In church, like 
wedding ushers, they escort those attending the service to their seats but do 
not offer their arms, except to the old or infirm. They do their best to place 
relatives and close friends toward the front of the church, keeping the front 
left-hand pews free for the pallbearers or, if there are no pallbearers, for 
themselves. When there are no pallbearers the ushers precede the casket in 
the same manner as the pallbearers, or march up the aisle, two by two, just 
before the service is to start. They march down the aisle at the end of the 
service ahead of the casket, if it is carried out, before the rest of the con- 
gregation leaves the pews. 

At Roman Catholic funerals the family does not enter from the vestry 
but follows up the aisle in the order of relationship to the dead when the 
casket is carried into the church, preceded by altar boys, priest, casket, and 
pallbearers. After the service they file out the same way behind the casket. 

Funerals are not encouraged in Orthodox synagogues. They take place 
only when a rabbi or some other dignitary dies. Therefore, Orthodox 
Jewish funerals are usually held in mortuary chapels or at home, with the 
men and women assembling side by side, the men with covered heads. 


The minister, rabbi, or priest goes along with the family and pallbearers, 
if any, to conduct the brief graveside service. 

A grave is marked with the name of the deceased and the date of his 
birth and death and, frequently, his family relationship, "beloved father of," 
"beloved son of." Sometimes a line or two of epitaph is added. The foot- 
stone or monument bearing this information is ordered by the family from 
a monument maker shortly after the funeral at minimum cost, but, of course, 
elaborate monuments with sculptures can run into thousands of dollars. The 
monument maker installs the monument or marker at no additional fee. If 
no monument or footstone is to be erected, the funeral director, if instructed, 
can place on the grave at time of interment a simple bronze plaque costing 
considerably less than a footstone and bearing the essential data. 

Most cemeteries provide perpetual care of graves as part of the purchase 
price, but families usually visit and tend their plots from time to time, 
especially among Christians on Memorial Day, Easter, and Christmas, and 
arrange for special care of plantings. 


It is usual for the minister to be given a fee for his services. Sometimes an 
appropriate amount is sent to him by the funeral director, who includes this 
expense on his bill. More often it is sent by a member of the family in a 
letter of appreciation for his comfort and help. 

The amount should be based on the family's ability to make a contribu- 



tion. Simplicity of the funeral is today no indication of lack of funds. And 
certainly if the funeral has been large and expensive the officiating clergy- 
man should not receive less than seventy -five to one hundred dollars. For 
the average funeral he usually receives from five to twenty-five dollars. 
When checks are sent they are made out to the clergyman rather than to 
the church, as these fees are expected to contribute to his own expenses. 

The sexton in a large church is on the church payroll and devotes full 
time to church business affairs. He receives up to twenty-five dollars for 
opening a big church and overseeing the work of his assistants at a large 
funeral. In a small church this office, if it exists, is voluntary, but the sexton 
usually is sent a fee, which, if his own circumstances permit, he may con- 
tribute to the church. The organist receives a similar amount. 


If the funeral takes place at home, some member of the family makes a 
careful note of the flower offerings as they arrive, removing the cards and 
recording, either on the back of each or in a notebook, a description of the 
flowers, "yellow roses" rather than "roses" or "dark red carnations" rather 
than "sheaf." The flowers of those nearest and dearest should be placed 
close to and on the casket, even when those from civic organizations or 
others are more impressive. 

When the funeral takes place at a funeral home the funeral director's 
staff collects the cards and makes the necessary notations for the family. At 
a church funeral some member of the family arrives in time to place the 
flowers and remove the cards when the coffin is to be in place before the 
start of the service. 

Flowers, donations to charity in memoriam, and mass cards should be 
acknowledged within a reasonable length of time. Morticians usually supply 
as part of their service printed acknowledgment cards to be sent out by 
the family. These should not be used instead of a handwritten note, how- 
ever brief, although the use of engraved cards for large public funerals, 
where thousands of letters and floral offerings are received, is quite under- 
standable. Mrs. Roosevelt found it necessary to use them after the death of 
the President. 

The note acknowledging flowers, a mass card, charity contributions, or 
a telegram need not be more than a few words, such as: 

Dear Mr. Scott, 

You were kind indeed to think of us at such a difficult time. Your violets 
were beautiful and comforting. 


Helen Volkman 



Social letters of condolence, always handwritten, need not be long. In fact, 
"Deepest sympathy" may be written on your visiting card. But they must be 
sent very promptly. Telegrams are often sent and follow the usual tele- 
graphic form: 



You address your letter to the widow of the deceased, otherwise to the 
parents or a sister or brother of the person who has died always addressing 
the nearest relative, whether or not you are acquainted. 

To the mother of a friend you might write: 
Dear Mrs. Volkman, 

It is several years since I have seen Larry, but it was with a real sense of 
loss that I heard the news. We were very close at college, as he may have 
told you, and have always kept in touch with one another even though we 
lived at such a distance. 

I hope when I am in New York again that I may call upon you and, if 
possible, be of some service. 

Most sincerely, 
Gregory Burns 

It is better to avoid the words "died," "death," and "killed" in such letters. 
It is quite possible to write the kind of letter that will give a moment of 
courage and a strong feeling of sympathy without mentioning death or 
sadness at all. For instance: 
Dear Jeanette, 

For me Gale will remain the happy, dancing child I saw for the first time 
on her fifth birthday. She will always be with us in spirit. 


If you are writing a letter of condolence from a business office to some- 
one related to a person you have known mainly in business the letter may 
be dictated and typed. 

In replies to letters of condolence one may write at any length one wishes, 
but it is quite understandable that the note be brief, even to a close friend. 
Today it is usually on plain white rather than on black-bordered paper. 
Mourning paper is much less used now and quite unnecessary. 


Visible signs of mourning the widow's bonnet, the black clothes even for 
little children are, I think happily, rarely seen these days. We all mourn 
the deaths of those we love, but the healthful thing is to accept the loss 
as well as we can and gradually make our adjustment to the life we must 
live without this beloved person. 

Black has lost much of its meaning as the badge of bereavement ever 



since, in World War I, Chanel decreed that all fashionable women should 
mourn with her for her own war-loss when she launched the "little black 
dress," which has since become an essential of the wardrobe. Prior to that 
women seldom, if ever, wore black except for mourning. 

Black dresses from the regular wardrobe and in a dull material are usu- 
ally worn by women members of the family at a funeral. Children wear Sun- 
day-school clothes in quiet colors or white. Someone usually divests dresses 
to be worn at funerals of any bright-colored ornaments, but they may be 
trimmed with white. Pearls may be worn and any functional pin of silver or, 
possibly, dull gold or an heirloom piece of jet. Simple pearl button earrings 
are acceptable, but any costume jewelry, diamond rings, bracelets, or anklets 
should be dispensed with, at least for the period before and during the 
funeral, in deference to conservative feelings in these matters. 

The black chiffon veil is often worn by the bereaved women at a funeral. 
Stockings worn with black dresses at funerals are usually gun-metal or 
black, but dark, neutral tones are worn, too, if the mourner does not plan 
to go into conventional mourning. Ordinary street clothes such as one would 
wear to church are acceptable for others attending a funeral. 

Men of the family wear cutaways for a large church funeral or dark 
business suits in navy or Oxford, with black shoes and socks, black or gray 
ties and white shirts. (See "Men's Clothes.") Boys wear dark blue or gray 
suits, white shirts, dark blue or gray four-in-hands. 

the traditional idea of mourning Essentially, the wearing of mourning 
(not necessarily black it is white in the tropics) was to give protection to 
the family as well as to honor the dead. In great families even the retainers 
were often put in some degree of mourning, and social activities even for 
tiny children were rigidly circumscribed for as much as two years. It was 
frequent for the older women in the family, especially elderly widows, to 
remain in mourning, more or less, for the rest of their lives. 

We are getting away from the harsh idea that a strong will to live happily 
in spite of personal loss is sinful and disrespectful to the dead. We are 
developing a more positive social attitude toward others, who might find 
it difficult to function well in the constant company of an outwardly mourn- 
ing person. In time of war it is often advised by governments that the put- 
ting on of mourning by war-bereaved families is an aid and comfort to the 
enemy and a decided detriment to home morale. 

Another reason, I believe, for the little use of mourning today is the 
rapid spread of news. When death does occur everyone concerned is quickly 
informed by telephone, telegraph, and the daily papers. There is little pos- 
sibility that the bereaved family will not receive tactful consideration on all 
sides, and it need not publicly proclaim its loss by the wearing of black, the 
use of black-bordered note paper, the strict withdrawal from any merely 
social activity. 

Today when a girl returns to her office desk the day after her mother's 
funeral wearing her usual workaday clothes and a man goes forth after the 


death of his son without an armband to proclaim his grief, their co-workers 
know and understand. And no one considers that they mourn any the less. 
Still, a few stores have mourning departments and advisers who may be 
consulted, free of charge, on the use of mourning and semi-mourning for 
those who wish to cling to a rapidly passing tradition. 


Those who have just lost someone close to them naturally feel disinclined 
toward public festivity. Scheduled events, such as weddings, are, however, 
permitted to take place (see "Weddings"). Most of us pursue, or try to 
pursue, our usual social course within a week or so after a funeral in our 
immediate family, with our own feelings and convictions governing our 
behavior rather than "what people might think." 

Today we go to small dinner parties, to concerts and the opera, to the 
theater and the movies. We play games, including cards, and listen to the 
radio and read novels, all as an aid to regaining our ability to function 
normally. We try to remember that our own state of mind affects those 
around us and aids or interferes with their ability to face life's daily 

The activities of young children should never be restricted after a death 
has occurred in a family. Children have, if anything, even more need to 
run and jump and play when their parents are weighted with sorrow and 
strange things are happening in the house. The fact of death must be faced 
by everyone, and children, unless they are very tiny indeed, cannot be 
shielded from it. They can understand the tears and the immediate grief, 
but continuing sorrow is not the pattern of the normal child. Let him run 
off his tension in uninhibited play and noise away from the mourning house 
if there are those who cannot understand a child's needs. 


The lonely widow or widower wishing to face realistically the problem 
of deep personal loss today is, after about three months of widowhood, 
ready for quiet dates with members of the opposite sex. Modern men and 
women approve such emotionally healthful reaching out for reassurance. 
In a small, conservative community such dating is limited at first to eve- 
nings at home, movies, the theater, musical events, walks and drives, small 
parties with other couples. Often, today, remarriage during widowhood 
takes place in less than the formerly prescribed year. In cities where life is 
more impersonal there is less likelihood of criticism than in small towns. But 
here again mature people can best decide what is best for them in their par- 
ticular circumstance. In general neighbors are happy to see widowhood end, 
so long as remarriage does not seem unduly ill-considered and hasty. 


2 i 


Men's Clothes 140 

What's What in Various Sports 161 

The W ell-Groomed Man 171 

A Man's Manners in the Business World 176 

The Masculine Graces 183 

The Well-Dressed Woman igo 

The Fastidious and Well-Mannered Woman 200 

The Social Pleasantries 212 

The Smoking Problem 21Q 

Clubs 222 

Manners at Table 228 

Our Community Relations and Interfaith Courtesy and Understanding 243 

The New Citizen and His Particular Problems 250 


Good manners and appropriate dress are, or should be, part and parcel of 
gentle people. Notice the word "appropriate." Clothing need not be expen- 
sive or of the finest needlework or tailoring, but it must suit the occasion on 
which it is worn. We are not born with the knowledge that French heels 
are in poor taste with a classic tweed suit, that boisterousness is out of place 
in church. Precept and example show us how ladies and gentlemen should 
look and act. And feel. Outward conformity to a code is never enough. 

The finest rules for behavior are to be found in chapter 13 of First Corin- 
thians, the beautiful dissertation on charity by St. Paul. These rules have 
nothing to do with the fine points of dress nor with those of superficial 
manners. They have to do with feelings and attitudes, kindliness, and con- 
sideration of others. Good manners have much to do with the emotions. To 
make them ring true, one must feel them, not merely exhibit them. 



Two world wars have made both male manners and manner of dressing 
more casual. A man is certainly more comfortable, and his clothing, even 
for the relatively conservative, more colorful and varied. He goes to business 
vestless (in a double-breasted suit which can do away with the extra gar- 
ment), in a collar-attached, often colored, shirt, in a suit which may differ 
greatly from the Oxford, navy, or black one his father considered a gentle- 
man's business uniform. His hat may be a soft, snap brim or a rolling Hom- 
burg, but it needn't be the derby, a headgear not universally becoming. He 
is no longer a dun-colored bird. Even if he is properly cautious about the 



use of color in town (if he's not completely sure of his taste), he can indulge 
his long inhibited love of it in undergarments whose patterns and colors 
often rival Tahiti's sarongs. His slack suits at home, his bathing outfit, his 
pajamas, his clothes for active sports, his country wardrobe may all pro- 
claim a peacock if he can get away with it gracefully. But he'd better be 
able to live up to it. 

It takes a good figure, perfect carriage, and tolerable looks as well as an 
inborn style for a man to wear some of the modern clothes well. If he 
hasn't these attributes he's better off minimizing his defects by sticking at 
all times to conservative habiliments designed to call no special attention to 
themselves or him. 


A man's profession, the kind of work he does, must necessarily influence 
his choice of suits. If he's a gentleman farmer, an artist, or a writer and 
rarely goes into the larger cities near his home, he may get along nicely 
with one sack suit, filling out his wardrobe with slacks and sports coats to 
please his fancy and satisfy his needs. Such a man may even look quite 
appropriately dressed if he comes to town attired in his customary clothes 
a sports jacket and slacks or peaty tweeds if he keeps to such masculine 
haunts as his club, men's bars, offices, or the homes of his understanding 
friends. He is dressed informally, albeit quite possibly more expensively 
than some on whom he might call. So attired he does not belong in pre- 
tentious restaurants, at receptions, funerals, weddings, or directors' meetings. 
A man whose professional or business life takes him on frequent trips to 
parts of the country where life is less formal than it is in New York, and 
where his activities may take him more out of offices than in them, is 
justified, too, in wearing slacks and a sports jacket or tweeds to town if 
his travels will carry him more or less immediately out again. Slacks and 
sports jackets and of course tweeds are more and more worn for travel, 
as rumpled they look less unattractive than does a sack suit. A commuter, 
who comes in for a short day a half holiday, say and who has no plans 
for any appearances in town that require a more formal outfit, can con- 
ceivably choose to wear slacks to his office. But the wearing of this costume 
indicates the country gentleman who invades the city, if only for a short 
time. For a city dweller to choose it for office wear when he is not planning 
to leave the city that day seems posey. For other than executives to select 
such a costume for office work might seem pretentious to an employer. 


The suits a man wears to work should avoid being too distinctive in pat- 
tern, fabric, cut, or color unless he has a tremendous wardrobe from which 
to draw. I remember one young executive with whom I shall always 
associate a sharkskin suit, although he may have had several others with 
which to spell it. But he had to wear it much too often. As sharkskin can't 


be cut on the easy lines of tweed or Cheviot, my mind always sees him 
poured into that piscine garment. 

It is safer to be dressed for any business occasion that might occur than 
to go to the office in clothes that might be out of place if an important 
client should turn up or a vital meeting be called. The beloved rainy-day 
suit looks shabby when the sun comes out at noon, the old tweed jacket 
throws a man off stride if he's suddenly precipitated into a group of men 
wearing directors' jackets ( double-breasted, sometimes single-breasted black, 
short sack coats). 

In winter, worsteds, flannel, the softer tweeds, Saxony, and Cheviots are 
office wear. In spring and summer, gabardines and the various fight-weight 
fabrics are correct, with more latitude in the matter of mixed outfits. Sum- 
mer social activities don't center in cities, so the man who must work in town 
is permitted clothing comfort within reason. He is still expected to wear a 
coat, if only a seersucker one, even though his own office etiquette may per- 
mit him to be coatless at his desk while not engaged with visitors or his 

His suit colors may be gray, black, any of the toast browns, grayed 
greens, blues. The strong reddish-browns (except in Harris tweeds), the 
yellow-greens, and the strong green-blues had better be bypassed except in 
an extensive wardrobe. A man's suit should be of good enough quality to 
last four or five years, if he alternates it with at least three others of the 
same quality. If any one suit is too assertive it automatically telescopes his 
wardrobe. The same is true of a too vibrant plaid, a too broadly striped one, 
a very pale color, or a check that doesn't fade into gray at a short distance, 
or too shaggy a tweed. 

The double-breasted suit is considered more comfortable by some men 
for business wear, because it does not require a vest. Unless it is carefully 
tailored to his measurement with certain trompe Voeil details, it can be most 
unbecoming to the man of less than average height or to one who, though 
tall enough, has too generous girth or too short a waist. The suit has become 
so popular, not only because it permits doing away with the vest, but be- 
cause it suggests the American "wedge of cheese" sartorial effect. To be 
effective, it requires a trim waistline and it must be kept buttoned when a 
man is on his feet. 

If it is worn by a short man with a short or large waist the broadening 
effect of the suit's cut foreshortens the wearer. But a man with less than 
an Adonis figure can wear the double-breasted suit if the buttons are not 
so far apart as to carry the eye to the outside outlines of the figure, and if 
the broadened shoulder line is on the conservative side and begins high 
enough to give an illusion of waist. Slanting the top buttons outward helps 
the effect. Lengthening the coat doesn't usually simulate height. On the 
contrary, it shortens the legs. The length of the coat is determined by the 
shape of the man. A suit coat should always be long enough to cover the 
seat of the trousers, but on a short man it should not be longer than that, 



no matter what the current fashion. A man who is tall and very thin looks 
better dressed in a coat of medium length. A too short one puts him on 
stilts, and one too long accentuates his thinness. 

The single-breasted suit requires a vest except, perhaps, in the hottest 
weather. Even for the most conservative business occasions, the vest need 
not match the suit in fabric or color. The black-and-white, black, blue, and 
white, or black, white, and yellow-checked Tattersall waistcoat on light 
ground flannel is correct even with plaid or pin striped suits, as is the 
natural-color chamois waistcoat (weskit). It takes a man knowledgeable and 
easy with his clothes to wear them well, however. False moves with a tie, 
a shirt, or socks can make the wearer of a contrasting waistcoat look like 
a drummer. Fancy waistcoats call for white shirts, paisley, foulard, or solid 
color ties. They should be the sole accent note of the costume. The bottom 
button of the vest is nearly always left unbuttoned. 

The trousers of the sack suit may have cuffs or be pressed straight down, 
depending on preference. If they are tailor-made and cuffless, the bottoms 
should be finished so they can be turned up in stormy weather. Length of 
trousers is again a matter of individual taste, but, fashionably, those with 
permanent cuffs should hang straight and not break over the instep. The 
trousers width should be medium, avoiding the sloppiness of the English 
"bags" and the narrowness of the Continental trouser leg. The short man 
improves his appearance by wearing his trousers cut fairly high, comfortably 
above the hipbones. 

All trousers hang better when suspenders are worn and when a minimum 
is carried in the pockets. The carefully groomed man limits his trouser 
pocket contents to his small change and his keys. The keys should be in a 
flat key case. A used handkerchief, folded as flat as possible, can be returned 
to his hip pocket, but his wallet there may make an unsightly rear bulge 
(and may be an invitation to pickpockets who are not deterred by a button). 
A distinguished man, former President Miguel Aleman of Mexico, noted for 
his excellent taste in clothes, once told me that he carried an absolute min- 
imum in his suit pockets so his clothes would fit as they were tailored to fit. 
He pointed out that a man who must take along with him the familiar assort- 
ment of papers, checkbooks, pens, pencils, photographs, credentials, and 
the wealth of small-boy items he manages to collect would make a better 
appearance if he carried most of them in a brief case rather than on his 

refinements of tailoring The notch on the collar of a business suit should 
be almost a right angle and the lapel in recent years has tended to be cut a 
little broader than the collar, especially on a single-breasted coat. On double- 
breasted suits the lapels are definitely wider than the collar and are fre- 
quently slightly peaked instead of right-angled but should always avoid the 
pixylike exaggerated peak. (See illustration.) 

Side pockets, except occasional patch pockets, should have flaps (which 
for good grooming should always be worn out). Trouser pleats may be long 


business suits Left: Moderate peak, double-breasted suit still preferred by 
many older men or those with problem figures. Good shoulder line merely 
improves slightly on natural contours except to correct defects such as one 
shoulder lower than other. Right: Exaggerated peak like pixie-ears. Not rec- 
ommended. This is often teamed with impossibly athletic shoulders and an 
over-long coat. Theatrical. 

on the tall, slim man, but on the average or short man unpressed pleats 
not too generous, extending a few inches below the waistline, are more 
becoming. The buttonhole on the left lapel should be usable. In custom- 
made suits it is sensible to have the sleeve buttons completely functional, so 
the cuffs may be turned back if desired. British tailoring features this, to- 
gether with colorful suit linings meant to be seen occasionally. The sleeve 
length should permit one half inch of shirt cuff to show when the arm is at 
the side. Visible hand-stitching on collar and lapels advertises the tailor-made 
suit and insures careful workmanship. 


This is an expensive accouterment for a man who does not lead a fairly 
active social life, but it is often a necessary one. It is the proper costume for 
a really formal daytime wedding, when the bride wears a veil and has 
bridesmaids. It is the usual costume of the church usher. In fact it is worn 
at any daytime function, until six o'clock, that makes any attempt at being 
impressive or festive a wedding, a public funeral, a debutante tea, a call 
at the White House or at a governor's mansion, a concert, a christening, a 
city church service, any daytime ceremony. 

Many a man who owns a morning coat rarely thinks to wear it, yet its 
acquisition need not be the extravagance it seems. Once acquired, formal 
daytime dress should be worn frequently, so a man feels at ease in it. His 
coat need not be the cutaway but, more modernly, may be the short, even 
double-breasted black or Oxford sack coat, or "director's coat," unless the 
suit must be bought especially for a formal wedding or other use where the 
wearer is expected to be attired the same as other members of the group who 


already possess cutaways. But where all the ushers, say, are buying new 
morning coats for a wedding, it might be better to suggest the short and, 
I think, more wearable jacket to be worn with the usually, but not neces- 
sarily, striped trousers. 

It is no longer necessary, nor even usual, to wear spats with a morning 
coat except for a formal wedding, where white or sand linen spats are worn 
in the summertime with a white or sand-colored waistcoat. The correct hat 
with the morning coat is the black silk hat, although in England the gray 
topper is frequently worn at Ascot and for coaching. In summer, ushers in 
morning coats frequently go hatless and straw or panama hats are now quite 
permissible for wedding guests in cutaways. A top executive, wearing a 
morning coat to his office or the slightly less formal sack coat with striped 
trousers, will probably feel less conspicuous on the street in a black Hom- 
burg or a black soft felt hat than in a silk one. He wears a black or dark 
blue outer coat. Spats, if worn at all with the outfit (and they should never 
be worn at funerals), should be light or dark tan or light gray. Black socks, 
plain or ribbed, are worn with black calf, plain-tipped oxfords. Except at 
funerals, the black socks may be figured or clocked in white. 

In winter the waistcoat, which may be single-breasted or (usually, except 
on distinctly older men) double-breasted, may be pearl gray or light or 
darker tan, or may match the black or Oxford gray of the coat. 

Shirts worn with the morning coat should be with single or French 
"double" cuffs, white with pleated or plain bosom. The collar is wing or 
turndown, again depending on whether one is dressing like others in a 
group or not. The Ascot in a variety of materials from rep silk to broadly 
striped grosgrain, in grayed effects or plain black, white or lavenders (more 
mature), is the formal type of tie but the four-in-hand is often worn, and 
always worn in black for funerals. With the sack coat, the four-in-hand 
suits its somewhat lesser formality. With the Ascot, a pearl pin or an antique 
or modern gold scarfpin set with moonstone, amethyst, or other light stones 
is worn but is nowadays usually dispensed with on the four-in-hand. Pearl 
studs are de rigueur for the shirt, and gold cuff links which may even be 
large, striking antique, jeweled ones fasten the cuffs. The boutonniere may 
be any small, suitable flower a dark red or white carnation, a cornflower, 
or bridal flowers at a wedding (orange blossoms, white violets, gardenias, 
lilies of the valley, etc., with the groom alone wearing a sprig from the 
bride's bouquet). At a funeral no boutonniere is worn. 

Garters and suspenders are conservative gray or black-and-white, the 
handkerchief pure white, the scarf gray, white, or black, and the gloves light 
gray mocha, except at a funeral where dark gray suede gloves are substituted. 


A man, especially a young man, may be able to do without a morning coat, 
but he needs a dinner jacket (even if he never owns a tail coat). Here is a 
suit that should do duty for five years if it is well chosen, of good quality, 


from a good men's shop, if ready-made, or carefully tailored by a recognized 
tailor. Unless a man can afford two or more dinner jackets, he should stick 
to the conservative black, for if he appears in it time and time again, no one 
knows but what he may have two or a dozen like it. If he chooses his one 
tuxedo in the newer midnight blue, it would seem inconceivable to the 
observant eye that he had two such alike. And there are occasions on which 
he might feel slightly conspicuous in the slightly less formal blue. As for 
dark red or other colors in dinner jackets which may have seasonal popu- 
larity, it's better to shun them unless he has an extensive evening wardrobe. 
No girl wants her beau to turn up in a red suit, no matter how excellent the 
cut and quality, every time she goes dancing or dining with him. Whereas 
his one black dinner jacket, the fully accepted evening uniform of the semi- 
festive male, is never too remarkable. 

Modern dinner jackets are single- or double-breasted, the latter to be 
worn with or without a vest. The vest usually matches the suit but may also 
be of white pique, marseilles (or marcella), or black or midnight blue silk, 
ribbed or figured. Small braid matching that on the trousers may trim the 
vest in a custom-made suit. It is fastened with self -covered or smoked pearl 
buttons, not links. The vest is always dispensed with with a cummerbund 
(silk, rib-hugging sash which hides the top of the trousers), but this some- 
what dashing accessory is no asset to a gentleman of expanded girth. The 
cummerbund is now best worn in black, maroon, or midnight blue. The 
cummerbund is particularly attractive, and certainly more comfortable, in 
summer and may be topped by a summer dinner jacket in white, with or 
without lapels or shawl collar in the same fabric. Or, if a man's figure can 
stand it, a white linen mess jacket, but this has come to be considered 

Dinner jacket lapels may be more peaked than those of business suits but 
should avoid eccentricity. A shawl or a notched collar, considered more 
casual, is preferred by some, and the facing of either type may be satin, 
grosgrain, or of the same fabric if the jacket is white. 

The lines of a dinner jacket should be about the same as those of an easy, 
comfortable business suit. Avoid the too-fitted waist and the too-narrow 
Latin-style trousers as well as the absurdly built-out shoulders, although 
some padding is advisable for most men. 

braid on trousers It is not entirely necessary to have a different pair of 
trousers (always uncuffed) to be worn with a tail coat, as there is only a 
shade of difference between the braid on the trousers worn with full dress and 
those meant for a tuxedo. Specifications differ very slightly over a period of 
years, but, generally speaking, the braid for full dress is double or triple 
width while that on dinner jacket trousers narrower and usually coarser. 
Sometimes a very broad braid in satin finish is worn with dress trousers, and 
at times some men affect no braid at all on trousers with a dinner jacket 
(though there is some possibility they might be accused of aping their 
butlers who wear no braid). 



For a man with heavy social duties two pairs of trousers to go with his 
dinner jacket and one pair of full dress trousers might be an economy. But 
the average man, unless he has pretensions to being a fashion plate, can get 
along with one pair of evening trousers, matching his dinner jacket and to 
be worn, as needed, with it or his full dress coat. 

the shirt A revolution has taken place in the past twenty-five years in the 
matter of the proper shirt to wear with a dinner jacket. No longer is the old, 
and to some torturous, "boiled shirt" and stiff collar strictly necessary. Even 
for quite formal occasions the best-dressed men wear white soft front, 
pleated, or plain collar-attached (or separate starched collar) shirts and, 
in summer, even button-down collar shirts with buttoned wristbands. Soft 
dinner shirts may even have the usual ocean pearl buttons but can be had 
to accommodate small real pearl, onyx, gold, or small smoked pearl studs 
(two or three of them). Cuff links may match the studs, or, if a man 
possesses them, he may wear handsome antique or modern jeweled ones. 

the tie The tie for a dinner jacket is always a bow in black (or sometimes 
midnight blue, with midnight blue dinner jacket) dull silk, rep, grosgrain 
(seldom), or satin. Maroon rep is sometimes worn but, if so, looks better in 
summer with matching cummerbund and a dark red carnation. 

the BOUTONNDinE As a dinner jacket is a semiformal outfit, there is leeway in 
the selection of boutonnieres, although the carnation in red or white is most 
popular. White flowers other than carnations usually seem bridal, but cer- 
tainly a miniature dahlia in white or any other color would be quite suitable, 
as are cornflowers, pinks, strawflowers, holly, or snowberries (in the right 
season) or any little flower even a tiny orchid or modest gardenia that can 
go through an evening in such service without early collapse. 

Any woman would prefer no boutonniere at all to one of the permanent- 
duty feather ones. (Of course, the wearing of a decoration, such as the 
Legion of Honor, precludes the wearing of a boutonniere.) How would any 
man like her to wear a corsage of imitation orchids? There is always the 
tender implication that the woman a man is escorting has placed the bou- 
tonniere in his lapel with her own hands as she very often does. 

evening socks Socks worn with dinner or full dress clothes are solid black silk 
or nylon, ribbed or plain. With the dinner jacket they may be self clocked 
or even clocked in white. 


This is the winter, formal evening outfit of the, usually urban, gentleman 
"white tie," it's called on formal invitations. A man wears it to the opera at 
least to the opening or when he sits in a box with others similarly attired 
to an evening wedding (which rarely occurs in New York), to formal din- 
ners where it is requested, although the modern hostess knows that many 
men do not possess this garment and will either stay away if it is required 


or ask if they may wear "black tie." It is worn at balls, evening debuts (but 
here, especially if the hostess hopes for a turnout of young, dancing men, a 
choice of "black or white tie" may be given on the invitation), and for any 
elaborate evening entertainment. The host at a dinner party, at home or not, 
is never incorrect when so attired, when the hostess has given a choice to 
the men of black or white tie. It is possible that a man might be requested 
in some communities to wear a tail coat to a formal evening wedding in the 
summertime, but generally speaking it is winter wear. 

Like the dinner jacket, the tail coat may today be black or the deep mid- 
night blue which reputedly looks blacker than black at night. The trousers 
worn with it may be the same as those for the dinner jacket, for economy's 
sake, or have the somewhat wider, finer braid usual for full dress. The 
lapels are satin or grosgrain (of course grosgrain is so dull that one might 
almost as well wear a dark blue or black sack coat), always conservatively 
peaked and never the shawl collar sometimes seen on dinner jackets. If he 
can possibly afford it, a man should have his tail coat made to order, unless 
he is of average proportions, because it is almost impossible to alter a ready- 
made tail coat so that it fits as if it were made for him. A man somewhat 
under average height may shun the tail coat, because he feels it makes him 
look shorter. Yet if the tails are proportioned to his height by an expert 
tailor the suit can seem to give him several inches in height. A ready-made 
tail coat or a rented one for such a man can make him look like a small 
boy masquerading in his father's clothes. But, tailored to fit, "white tie" 
can give any man a special dignity and distinction as do no other clothes. 

the waistcoat, tie, and shirt The full dress waistcoat is always white pique 
or marcella, with white or antique pearl buttons which may be inserted like 
studs for washability. It is made with or without a revers and with the bottom 
cut on the straight line preferably- -although this is usually possible only 
on the custom-made suit with high-rise trousers and is worn with a white 
pique bow tie. The shirt is a neckband one with one or two studs (small 
white pearl, gold, platinum, or certain antique studs with light colored 
stones permissible). 

boutonniere, gloves, and muffler For full dress the boutonniere is, for 
conservatives, always white, usually a carnation, unless for a wedding, ball, 
or other very festive occasion when small gardenias are suitable. Dark red 
carnations are often favored, too. Gloves worn on the street are white doe- 
skin or chamois. Today the white kid gloves, ultra-correct for indoor wear 
with formal clothes, are seldom seen, although some fastidious men don 
them for dancing, to avoid having to place a moist hand on a woman's bare 
back. Actually, a man's white kid gloves worn this way are not removed 
even when he is acknowledging introductions or having supper. The muffler 
worn with formal dress is white silk, woven or knit, initialed, possibly, in 
black or white in fact, all formal evening accessories are unrelieved white 
or black or a combination of these as, for example, in garters and braces, 



which may be white or black with contrasting woven or embroidered design 
in black or white. 

yormal hats There is more choice of a hat to wear with a dinner jacket than 
of one to select for tails. If you don't own a black silk hat or an opera hat, 
don't wear tails at all. With a dinner jacket one may wear an opera hat 
(preferably with an overcoat), a soft black or, in summer, a gray felt hat, a 
black Homburg, or, in summer, a straw sailor or a panama. Despite the 
rigidity and severity of the derby, it is not considered suitable for any but 
business suits, even though you do see it worn sometimes with a dinner 
jacket. It might be more acceptable, this way, with a shawl collared dinner 
jacket (somewhat less formal). 


This is a rare item these days in an American man's wardrobe and is found 
only if he admits to his years or is perhaps a clergyman or fox hunter. It 
used to be considered the preferred coat for the bride's father to wear with 
striped trousers, even though the other members of the wedding party wore 
the usual cutaways. Today's father has more spring in him, I guess. At 
least he seems to like wearing the cutaway instead. And as both these 
formal daytime uniforms seem unyouthful to me, I can see why he might 
prefer the less restrained cutaway, unless, of course, there is entirely too 
much length to his watch chain. 


Most men balk at dressing for small dinner parties in their own or their 
friends' homes, although they are relatively willing to do so if the program 
includes the theater, a restaurant, or a night club or, perhaps, all three. Left 
to himself, even the well-dressed American male will come to dinner in a 
dark sack suit, and if he's more comfortable that way, I say, let him. In the 
country, depending on the temper of his wife and what his neighboring 
males get away with, he may even arrive in a loud plaid flannel shirt and 
corduroy trousers, even though his wife prefers to get out of her wool dress 
or pullover sweater and into a print, a little black dress, or, in her own home, 
dinner slacks, pajamas, or hostess gown. 

Into the breach between the business suit and the tuxedo steps the double- 
or single-breasted smoking jacket or the silk or gabardine house suit. The 
smoking jacket is cut like a shawl or notch-collared dinner jacket and is 
made of dark blue, black, or maroon velveteen or corduroy with satin facing. 
An old pair of tuxedo trousers goes admirably with it; dark gray slacks do, 
too. This outfit, worn with a soft-bosom shirt and a turndown, buttoned 
down collar and a bow tie (black or maroon preferred) is quite acceptable 
for off-duty lounging and the small, home dinner when other men present 
are not wearing dinner jackets. The silk choppa or some casual silk scarf 


in polka dot, paisley, or other design may be used in place of the collar and 
tie by the man who can wear it with the right air. 

Even more chez lux than the smoking jacket is the silk, gabardine, or, in 
summer, cotton-weave lounge suit (this in a large variety of colors from 
forest green to terra cotta) worn usually without a coat, although with the 
silk or gabardine suit the coat is sometimes cut smoking jacket style to be 
worn with a white soft shirt. It seems to me that men should be encouraged 
to acquire any such aids to more comfortable home attire. All fastidious 
people change from street or daytime clothes to fresher ones for dinner 
if it is possible to do so. In his own home a man should be given time to 
change from his business clothes into something easy and comfortable or 
quite festive before dinner, and, as men's clothes are trending, these two 
ideals are not incompatible even if he dons a dinner jacket. 

With the smoking jacket, which is the most acceptable of the male 
lounging outfits, black patent pumps are worn or leather house slippers that 
fit like a pump, although they are cut away at the side and are sometimes 
of black patent and red or black soft leather. They should be hard-soled and 
have a heel. 


Practical for the average man is the black, Oxford gray, or dark blue chester- 
field with a black velvet or self collar. (The latter may have silk-faced 
lapels but then would be restricted to evening use or to wear with a cuta- 
way.) The chesterfield may be single- or double-breasted and is equally 
useful for day as for semiformal or even formal evening wear. 

The black satin-lined evening cape, an elegant garment, is still seen on 
gentlemen who take their clothes very seriously and who like to keep alive 
the niceties of Victorian dress. It is usually tailored to measure but is some- 
times featured by the best men's shops in lush seasons. Once you own it, you 
can presumably wear the same cape the rest of your life with complete 

the daytime overcoat For town wear with business or semiformal daytime 
clothes the blue, black, or Oxford gray double- or single-breasted chester- 
field is always right unless the business suit is, say, a heather mixture or 
any rather woodsy tweed becoming to certain big-boned men. The chester- 
field goes with the smooth surface fabric or herringbone, but tweeds need 
a more loose-lined topcoat, not only for comfort's sake but for congruity. 


The term "pinks" refers to the light pinkish-sand whipcord officers' trousers 
worn by army officers. But the "pink" coat cut as a frock coat, shadbelly (or 
Pytchely coat), or cutaway as worn by members of the hunt is really vivid 
scarlet. It may be worn by anyone joining the hunt even though he may 
not be especially asked to wear it by the M. F. H., unless the club has a 



special, colored collar (but Oxford or black is better unless you are asked 
or are a quite famous man to hounds). Supposedly, the coat was devised by 
an English tailor named "Pink" and was intended to be worn by riders in 
the hunt who were particularly familiar with the terrain so that they could 
lead the chase. Other worthies wore, instead, the cutaway or the black 
frock coat, but most hunt clubs now put on an occasional show of "pink" 
on all their members, although for most hunts ordinary riding clothes are 
worn. Riding breeches in white or sand whipcord are worn with pink coats, 
and "brick" red or "pinks" with the dress riding sack, and must be accom- 
panied by black, not brown, boots with tan or champagne color tops. All 
boots have black soft legs. 

The hat worn with a pink coat is a high hunting silk hat. A black riding 
derby which is shallower than the street derby may be worn with the dark 
cutaway or frock coat, or the black velvet beagling cap of the English 
foxhunter. Caps are worn only by the master, honorary whippers-in, the 
huntsmen, and professional hunt servants. The waistcoat is a tattersall or 
canary wool flannel, or may be of any distinctive color adopted by the hunt. 

Traditional, too, for formal daytime riding clothes is the white stock 
worn with an appropriate scarf pin, white or buff chamois or calf gloves. The 
stock is said to have been designed to act as a bandage in case of accident, 
and it thus is a truly functional bit of men's wear still. 

for evening horse shows For night horse shows, a dinner jacket is often worn, 
especially if the owner is showing his own horse. Trousers may be the usual 
ones, or evening trousers cut slightly narrow in the leg with elastic straps 
under the insteps. The black evening oxford is correct and the hat is prefer- 
ably a soft black felt. 

To me the dinner jacket topping even the most blue-blooded mount seems 
incongruous, and I prefer the black or, usually, Oxford gray riding habit with 
black boots. However, correct though this is, it is less often seen even in 
Madison Square Garden than the more usual brown or tan riding jacket with 
matching or contrasting trousers or jodhpurs, usually in putty color or sand 
and worn with well-burnished brown boots or jodhpur shoes. 

informal riding clothes In the show ring jodhpurs are considered incorrect, 
although they are often worn by women, but this Indian importation is 
attractive on the man of average or more than average height. The bulge 
of the jodhpur trousers might be less flattering than ordinary ones on the 
short man, especially if his waistline isn't trim. The jodhpur, because of its 
close fit and lack of boot (it is worn with a special pull-on shoe), is cer- 
tainly not the garment for the bandy-legged man or one who can't "show 
a good leg." Boots will cover his shortcomings more adequately. Jodhpurs 
must fit well and if ready-made must be altered so they fit smoothly over 
the calf and break correctly at the knee, so they will be entirely comfortable 
whether you are on the horse or off him. 

The easiest, most universally becoming riding outfit, suitable for park 


or country riding, is the tweed jacket (cut slightly longer than an ordinary 
one, although the usual tweed sport jacket will do) and twill, cord, linen, 
drill, or gabardine riding breeches, worn with brown, polished boots with 
a rounded toe and normal heel. (Fancy, high-heeled boots are fine on a 
dude ranch or for the younger fry, to be worn with the usual riding pants 
or tucked in or out with Levis.) Shirts may be open at the neck (except 
for formal park riding, when a button down collar and four-in-hand tie 
or a stock are usual), in white or in colored flannel. For informal cross- 
country riding many men wear plaid flannel shirts or in summer polo 
shirts, with or without coats. A derby may be worn with the complete riding 
habit (not if you go coatless or wear a shirt open at the neck), or a soft 
felt in brown, gray, or green. A pork pie looks fine, and so does a green 
tyrolean, brush and all. Caps are considered correct and are probably 
comfortable, but they remind me of Dick Merriwell and the Rover Boys. 
Formal hunting dress, by some called "livery," whether worn by amateur 
riders or hunt "servants," is rigidly prescribed and is a subject in itself. 


ties, evening and otherwise Not every man is dextrous nor can every man, 
attiring himself for a social evening, be valeted. Hence, into being came the 
pre-tied bow tie, for evening as well as for day wear. It seems to me a sad 
little invention, like the old-time celluloid shirt and the sleeve garter that, 
I gather, compensates for the ill-fitting shirt sleeve. However, I suppose the 
pre-tied tie is better than a self-tied one that is askew most of the evening. 
Most men wear bow ties so seldom they have little chance to practice tying 
them, but a man with a nimble-fingered wife has no excuse for turning up 
with his bow tie in a dreary little lump or in the startling butterfly perfec- 
tion of some of the pre-tied ties. If a pre-tied tie must be the choice, be 
careful to wear it with a turned down collar if it has an observable fastening 
in the back, otherwise the coat collar will eventually ride down enough dur- 
ing the evening to reveal this little sartorial deception. 

The daytime tie, usually a four-in-hand, is developing into an often gaudy 
creation which is giving the long color-repressed male a chance to exhibit 
his taste or lack of it in the choice of ties suitable for his wardrobe. While 
I deplore the "poached egg" and hand-painted, as well as the explosively 
geometric schools of tie design, I suppose it is the privilege of the male to 
wear them. It used to be that women who knew little about men's canons of 
taste were responsible for the gift purchase of such ties, but there is an 
alarming trend among men themselves to buy and wear such horrors. 

If a tie has any design but a variation of the stripe, the paisley, the polka 
dot, or the small square, it had better be of exceptional quality and style, 
with cost no real indication of either. Any woman will tell you that it is 
much easier to combine one or more plain colors with not more than one 
figured one than to combine several figured ones, which takes some knowl- 
edge of color and design values. It is quite possible for a man to wear 



a colored, striped shirt, a tattersall waistcoat, a Glen plaid suit, and a 
bright, figured tie and a fancy handkerchief, but he needs either innate or 
acquired taste to do so. A man who is not sure of his color sense is safer 
wearing plain colored or white shirts with a suit that is either striped or 
plaid, plain ties and shirts with "horse-blanket" sports jackets or patterned 
suits, a single bright accent rather than several. This is, admittedly, the 
ultra-conservative point of view. There are men who can wear bright 
green suits with pink shirts and sunburst ties and still look all right, I guess- 
but not to me. 

There is nothing shameful in being either color blind or, let us say, color 
unsure. It is only the foolhardy male who, knowing nothing about color 
harmony, goes right ahead and buys his clothes without any attempt to 
co-ordinate them acceptably and without seeking advice. Perhaps it was 
the lack of opportunity to wear bright colors for generations that has made 
the male uneasy in the presence of the wide assortment of colored and 
figured garments he finds even in the most conservative shops. He sees even 
his most reactionary friends attired in colors and color combinations quite 
unthinkable except in Bohemian or Broadway circles a few years back, and 
he wonders if he'll have the audacity himself to brighten up the old routine 
of the blue, gray, or brown suit with the white, blue, gray, or tan shirt 
and the plain blue, brown, maroon, or (more daringly) green ties that have 
been his safe choice for so long. Perfectly acceptable males are wearing 
yellow, for example, and not only in canary waistcoats in the hunting field 
or in the generations-old chamois ones. They wear yellow wool mufflers 
and, in the country, yellow knit gloves and cheerful bright yellow wool 
socks and polo shirts. The old maroon tie in variations of pattern is always 
good, but the reddest of red ties now appear on sound, aggressively mascu- 
line men and with good effect, too. Green suits and hats, always considered 
tasteful in English and Continental tailoring circles, have captured the 
imaginations of the most conservative American ones. Green clothes need 
still to be chosen with caution and with a careful eye to a man's coloring. 
If he has a sallow, yellowish cast to his skin he can look mighty bilious in 
a green hat or suit. Forest green, gray green, and Lovat green are the safe 
ones to choose in wools and felts and go best with the well-tanned skin that 
has underlying color. The pinkish skin with ruddy accents can wear the 
various greens, too. 

If a man decides to put a litde more life into his wardrobe, he will 
find that women will approve and, with their usually more developed color 
sense, be able to advise him if he feels he needs advice. They will be able 
to help him find what is right for him irrespective of what Jones at the 
club turned up in yesterday. It may be some comfort for him to realize 
that men have dressed so dully and conservatively for so long that the 
relatively slight changes going on in men's fashion circles (and there are 
male style leaders who exert a considerable influence on what men wear, 
you know) go almost unnoticed, and not only by other men but even by 


the more fashion-conscious women, the majority of whom know nothing of 
what is considered good, tasteful male attire from a technical standpoint. 
But women, generally, know what "looks good" on their own or other males, 
and many a man who has improved his financial and social position over 
the years gets some help from his wife in the selection of his clothes. Many 
men, in fact, leave entirely to their wives the purchase of handkerchiefs, 
socks, underwear, and shirts and ask their wives to go along when they are 
choosing a ready-made suit or overcoat or selecting material from which they 
are to be made. 

handkerchiefs I feel about decorative silk handkerchiefs for men exactly as I 
do about chiffon squares for women they in no way replace the good white 
linen or lawn handkerchief and, when worn for decoration, must not be 
used for the handkerchief's true function for wiping one's face after exer- 
tion or blowing one's nose. Such handkerchiefs must, usually, be dry-cleaned 
or at least very cautiously washed, so they are not suitable for sanitary 
purposes at all. In fact, I prefer to see them knotted around the throat for 
sports wear rather than poking out uselessly from a breast pocket. 

When a handkerchief with a colored border or initial is worn (and avoid 
these, of course, with formal day or evening dress unless, on an initialed 
handkerchief, the initial is in black or white) the color should be geared to 
the socks and tie, preferably. A man wearing a gray suit, a light gray, white- 
striped shirt, a maroon figured tie, and maroon wool socks would be better 
off choosing a handkerchief initialed in maroon rather than one with a gray 

The handkerchief in a man's breast pocket is supposed to be a clean, 
completely unused one, folded and placed casually so that it shows about 
two inches above the edge of the pocket. Once a handkerchief from the 
breast pocket has been used (after the spare one in the hip pocket has been 
exhausted) , a man is not supposed to put it back in the same pocket, because 
it is no longer suited for display and stuffing it down out of sight produces 
an ugly bulge. The Englishman shoves it up his sleeve (not a bad idea), but 
the carefully groomed man does not make himself a walking laundry bag by 
carrying two soiled handkerchiefs. He shifts one to the bottom of his brief 
case or his desk drawer, to be taken home for laundering. A man who 
travels a lot on his job does well to locate a good hand laundry near his 
office where he can have laundered the extra supply of handkerchiefs, shirts, 
and underwear he keeps in the office to take care of unexpected out-of-town 
trips or freshenings-up he may want to do when he goes directly from the 
office to a social engagement. Even the very young executive can usually 
find a bottom desk drawer or the back of a file drawer or, better, his 
locker where such accessories may be kept. Let him not be embarrassed 
over his little caches some top executives keep entire wardrobe changes 
in their private offices and have dressing rooms attached to private baths, 
where they may groom themselves as is expected of them. 



initials on handkerchiefs I like initials or monograms (two or more initials) 
when they are not too ostentatious, because they give a custom-made look 
to clothes. And, as this is the function of initials, they should never be 
machine done. In buying handkerchiefs be sure the initials are hand- 
embroidered and the hems hand-whipped or hemstitched, the material of 
good quality. A man spoils the effect of otherwise good grooming by bring- 
ing out a handkerchief that is sleazy or not immaculately clean. If a man asks 
a woman what constitutes good quality in handkerchiefs she will gladly 
show him what to look for in buying his own. Then he might go through 
his present collection and consign to use in spading the garden all those he 
bought in vending machines when he ran out of handkerchiefs on various 
business trips. Or give them to his young son whose ability to lose all hand- 
kerchiefs promptly will solve the problem of how to get rid of them. 

initials on clothes and various articles The rule for monogramming or 
initialing of handkerchiefs applies, too, to those on shirts, pajamas, and 
leather articles. Initials should never be ostentatious. If a man has his shirts 
custom-made and wants a monogram in white or color ( and it should never, 
in this case, be a single initial [the last one] as is often used on handker- 
chiefs), he might have it put on the sleeve about three inches above the cuff 
rather than on the shirt front or pocket. Two or three little block initials- 
white, maroon, black, gray, or blue, preferred are better than a scrolly 
monogram with an embroidered border. Initials on leather articles, such as 
a brief case or portfolio, are quite functional and should be readily readable, 
not just a fancy decoration. As only a man's family, intimate friends, or 
servants see him in his pajamas, he might have a fancy monogram in any 
color his heart desires, if he wants. It is usually placed on the left breast 
pocket. To monogram or initial everything one owns, from a car to a pipe, 
may seem feminine, so it's a good idea for a man not to let the women in his 
family overdo it in giving him monogrammed gifts. 

jewelry What jewelry a man has should be of precious metal, good, simple 
design, and as expensive as his pocketbook permits. When he adds up the 
sums he has paid for the male equivalent of "junk jewelry" tie clasps, tie 
pins, tricky cuff links, make-do studs, collar buttons, and watch chains, 
all of which eventually lose their plating or drop their ersatz stones he will 
see that the gradual acquisition of good jewelry is good business as well as 
good taste. Before hurrying into the nearest men's shop and paying five 
dollars or more for brightly plated cuff links, because the last pair, costing 
the same, looks like something from the dime store, he might look through 
the jewelry his father or grandfather wore. He may find a beautiful pair 
of heavy gold links or some intricately enameled ones that he couldn't buy 
today from a dealer in antique jewelry for a hundred dollars or more. These 
"old-fashioned" things are often in far better taste than the machine-made 
jewelry most men must wear, either for lack of the price of anything better 
or because they don't know that heirlooms like these are never out of fashion. 


Today a man doesn't wear diamond rings or stickpins, but he may find an 
old-fashioned stickpin that will be really distinguished in an Ascot tie- 
even if it does have a tiny diamond somewhere in the setting. Never discard 
these things on the ground they're not "modern." 

If a young man's social life is relatively limited by the exigencies of bring- 
ing up a family, he might consider that some day he may be a man whose 
clothes are all made to order and who will be able to find the leisure for the 
kind of social life that almost requires such niceties as real jewelry. Grand- 
father's heavy gold watch chain may not look like the delicate platinum one 
someone else received when he served as best man at that expensive wed- 
ding, but it will have meaning to a grandson and even give him a little 
edge over the young man whose grandfather had no gold watch chain to 
leave him and who has had to work up to a platinum one himself. 

A man with a big, long-fingered hand can wear a ring better than the 
man with a short pudgy one. If he has an antique seal ring usually heavy 
gold with a coat of arms or a well-devised monogram it may be worn 
on the little finger of either hand, although he's less likely to wince in hand- 
shaking with hearty individuals if he wears it on the left hand. A ring with 
a stone, if worn at all, should be flat and preferably unfaceted, set in a simple 
gold setting. Some class or fraternity rings are so badly designed that a man 
often discards them a few years after graduation. There is no reason why 
when a very young man demands a ring (usually as he enters prep school) 
that it can't be tasteful enough for him to wear throughout his lifetime if 
he wishes. To be avoided are such things as "Chinese style" initials, imitation 
rubies, garnets, or emeralds set in the signet. If the ring is not going to be 
especially made for the boy don't overlook the pawn shops or the little 
jewelers who sell antique jewelry. There may be found the kind of man's 
ring (or studs or watch chain) of which he will never cease to be proud. 

Wedding rings for men came into considerable use during World War II, 
and it is probable that the men who started wearing them will continue 
to do so and so influence later bridegrooms to follow suit. It used to be 
thought incorrect for a man to wear his wedding band on any but the 
little finger of his right hand, but the modern wedding-ringed husband 
prefers the same finger the bride's ring circles the fourth finger of the left 
hand. And it does seem to me that his wearing it there does make it seem 
unmistakable that he is a "married man." 

Rings worn on the index finger or on the second finger are just plain 
theatrical and affected, no matter how they were worn in Victorian days. 

Watches and cigarette cases may be gold, silver, enamel, steel, or platinum, 
and the cigarette cases should not be set with precious or semi-precious 
stones. Wrist watches, unless of delicate design and without a leather strap, 
are less likely to be worn with evening clothes. Instead, a thin watch, in 
gold or platinum, on a thin gold or platinum chain (or grandfather's good 
gold chain, which may be monumental but impressive) is worn. If any ill- 
advised woman should try to give a man a platinum chain with tiny 



diamonds between the links, he should return it to the jeweler who was 
talked into making it and go to Palm Beach on the proceeds or put them 
on the nearest fast horse. 


Whenever possible, waterproofed shoes are preferable to rubbers for street 
wear in bad weather, but where rubbers are necessary the kind that covers 
just the sole of the shoe certainly looks better. For heavy duty in the country, 
elk-hide boots are more attractive than bulky galoshes, but the latter must 
be the choice of the commuter in snowy weather. Raincoats and hats (or 
plastic protectors over hats) are more practical than umbrellas, but there are 
times when every man needs to carry an umbrella. It should be large and 
black with a wooden crook handle and should be carried furled in its case 
when not in actual use. It may have a gold or silver initialed band on the 
shank of the handle. 

the raincoat The good old British raincoat, belted trench-coat style or fly- 
front, has been taken to the heart of the American male, who, like his 
English cousin, wears it as a light extra topcoat in the city or country, rain 
or no rain. In London this practice makes more sense, as any bright day is 
likely to turn into a rainy one before teatime, anyway. There is one injunc- 
tion I should like to make that the American not wear his raincoat when it 
is so dirty it embarrasses the women he escorts. An Englishman feels that his 
raincoat must be dirty in fact, I am sure he tramps on a new one before he 
wears it for the first time but in the United States a dirty raincoat is just a 
sign of careless grooming. In fact, it's just as repulsive as any other garment 
worn once too often. 


The vest is, quite obviously from the look of the back of it, a piece of 
apparel to be worn under a coat. If a man does remove his coat, when 
given permission to do so for reasons of comfort, he should remove the 
vest, too. If he is wearing suspenders it is better to keep his coat on or, 
if he happens to have on a belt, too, to unhitch the suspenders when he 
removes coat and vest. A coatless man is more agreeable to the eye than one 
in a vest or one whose suspenders show. Need anything be said about the 
abhorrent custom of wearing sleeve bands? If a man can't buy shirts that are 
the right sleeve length, he should have the sleeves shortened or have fewer 
but better shirts, custom-made. 

White cotton or lisle socks are never worn except with white shoes or 
sneakers. Heavy white wool socks, on the contrary, may be worn with 
country shoes and clothes with tweeds, flannels, linen suits, or wool slacks 
and for active sports. Argyle socks, even the most vivid patterns, have 
invaded urban areas and may be worn quite appropriately with such busi- 


ness suits as Glen plaids, wools, cheviots, flannels, and tweeds. Socks 
should be chosen with an eye to the tie worn, but exact matches are more 
cautious than interesting. 

shoes There was a time when a rigidly well-dressed man would have looked 
askance at the wearing of brown shoes with a blue suit. The ultra-conserva- 
tive still wear black shoes with a blue suit, but brown are certainly correct, 
and with any tweed or rough-surface mixture more suitable, in my opinion. 
I'll grant that a hard-surface blue serge might conceivably limit one to 
black shoes. 

Brown shoes are also worn with all the varieties of gray with the exception of 
Oxford which looks better accompanied by black. Gray suits are more 
conservatively teamed with black shoes, but the combination would be 
unthinkable in the country, which is definitely brown shoe terrain. 

Sudde shoes in brown reverse calf or buckskin are permissible in the city with 
tweeds, and the monk shoe, moccasin and rough brogue, once solely country 
foot covering, are now seen in the city with tweeds or slacks. 

White shoes are certainly not a good choice for town wear, because they soil 
immediately. The same is true of brown and white sport shoes. It is difficult 
to find a shoe that looks right with the informality of the summer suit made 
of seersucker or the various cotton mixtures so needed in our cities in hot 
weather. The monk's shoe or the moccasin seem nearest to being acceptable, 
especially as the cotton suit coats are now often worn with gray or brown- 
tone flannels or with gabardine slacks in a variety of muted colors from sand 
and grayed greens to slate blue. Black-and-white shoes, while they are still 
made for the best men's shops, are somewhat theatrical and pretty 

Formal shoes fall into two categories, the patent, bowed, dancing pump, and the 
laced patent evening oxford. The pumps are worn with tails, at home with 
a smoking jacket, or with a dinner jacket. They are preferred over the 
other types when the wearer expects to dance. The laced patents should 
not be pointed in toe or spade, and they look better without a toe cap. 
Black oxfords worn with morning coat should have a plain tip and preferably 
should be calf, avoiding the heavy-duty look of black street oxfords. These 
are the shoes in which a man is married when he dons the full regalia of 
a morning coat. Patent shoes of any sort would seem too frivolous for such 
an occasion. Nor are they suitable for funerals. 


Frequently in winter you see even well-dressed men going gloveless and 
hatless. Perhaps they feel hardier that way, but an ungloved hand is, in the 
winter, usually a chapped and roughened one. For summer there are avail- 
able loose, stitched, cotton chamois gloves, which give a finished look to 



the costume and keep hands from getting grimy in the city. Only the man 
whose hair stays put should attempt to go hatless in town. If he has no 
hair, letting the sun beat down on his pate doesn't stimulate the hair follicles, 
it seems. And he'll probably look better-dressed wearing either a light-weight 
felt, a panama, or some kind of straw hat. The traditional sailor is becom- 
ing to any man with a good figure, medium to tall in height, and preferably 
with a long or oval face. But let him be careful not to choose one with a band 
associated with a club or fraternity to which he does not belong. These 
color combinations can't be patented by the organizations in question, but 
wearing such a band when not entitled to do so makes one seem like a gate 
crasher. Before a man buys a band, he would do well to ask the clerk if it 
does belong to some specific goup. Adorning a hat band with fish flies 
or bright litle feathers is amusing for country wear or, if he's the type and 
can afford it, he may choose bands made entirely of pheasant feathers but 
only for sports wear. 

Needless to say, going hatless to formal affairs, to city weddings, to 
funerals, even to business calls is not very appropriate. Yes, there are men 
who affect a certain boyishness by going hatless winter and summer, rain 
or shine, but if a man wears a suitable hat, he is always right. This can't 
be said if he barges in everywhere hatless. Especially if he accompanies a 
well-turned-out woman. 


It is not correct no matter what you occasionally see for a man to wear 
dinner jacket or tail coat in the daytime unless, perhaps, he's being buried! 
(And to follow up this lugubrious aside, if the family does decide to attire 
the deceased in formal clothes, it should give him the dignity of full evening 
dress for a night funeral and of a morning coat in the daytime. A tuxedo 
doesn't seem quite right.) 

The only other possible uses for evening wear in the daytime are an 
audience with the Pope and certain Continental State functions when full 
evening dress is worn, not a tuxedo. Evening clothes should not be worn 
before six o'clock, unless, for example, a man is leaving the city for a sub- 
urban dinner or vice versa and can change only at home. But even this 
means he would be likely to emerge in his bedecked state between five and 
six. The ideal is not to appear in dinner or evening clothes in broad daylight, 
although in spring and summer this is usually quite unavoidable. 

A tuxedo, essen dally a frivolous garment, should not be worn in church 
for any reason. For a night wedding, even at home, full dress should be 
worn by members of the wedding party, unless they prefer the alternative 
jf dark sack suits. In summer they may wear white flannels with blue coats 
or for an evening garden wedding, white dinner jackets. 



A man should not wear easily soiled trousers, such as white flannels or 
pale-colored doeskins, in the city or on a train. Possible exceptions might 
be some urban, outdoor activity such as dancing on the Mall in Central 
Park or a Stadium concert if he's going on foot or by car or taxi. Flannels 
are worn, at least by the host or by house guests, in a penthouse, because 
of its pseudo-rural atmosphere. The trousers will get even more sooty on 
the penthouse terrace than they would on a train, but the fun of a pent- 
house is its carefully nurtured atmosphere of country or at least suburban 


the legion of honor Most countries grant various orders to distinguished 
citizens and non-citizens who have performed some outstanding service to 
the State. Among those often seen internationally are the various buttons and 
ribbon of the French Legion of Honor (Legion d'honneur). 

There are five grades of the Legion of Honor, each distinguished by its 
insigne as follows: 

First Grade, Knight (Chevalier) : Red ribbon at buttonhole, worn from 
the buttonhole to the outer edge of the left lapel. 

Second Grade, Officer (Officier): Red rosette in buttonhole. 

Third Grade, Commander (Commandeur): Red rosette on silver bar. 

Fourth Grade, Grand Officer (Grand Officier) : Red rosette on silver and 
gold grosgrain covered bar. 

Fifth Grade, Grand Cross (Grand Croix), highest rank: Red rosette on 
gold grosgrain covered bar. 

The highest rank that women achieve in the Legion of Honor is that of 
Commander (Commandeur). Women wear the red ribbon of the Knight on 
tailored suits, sewn on the left lapel just as men do. On street dresses they 
may wear it through the collar or neckline on the left side. 

The insigne of Commander is pinned to the left shoulder as flowers 
would be. 

For formal wear, women Commanders wear a white-lacquered five-pointed 
star on a circlet of gold attached to a large red ribbon worn necklace fashion. 

Male Commanders for formal wear wear the same cross on a gold circlet 
on a large red ribbon tied around the neck beneath the white tie. 

The Grand Officer has for formal wear a ten-pointed silver plaque worn 
on the left side of the breast. The Grand Cross (generally given to sovereigns 
and chiefs of state, occasionally to commanders in chief) is worn with red 
sash draped across the chest from right to left. 

Holders of various ranks of the Legion of Honor may use the following 
designations or initials after their names : Knight ^ ; Officer ( O. ) ^t ; Com- 
mander (C.) #; Grand Officer (G. O.) jfc; Grand Cross (G. C). 


rules for wearing decorations by civilians A U.S. civilian possessing any 
U.S. war decoration wears it on the left side, always above those granted 
him by any other country. 1 Other decorations are worn in the order in 
which they are received, except that those of any one country are always 
grouped together. This is true even when one has been received after a 
decoration from another country has been awarded. 

The possessor of many decorations need not wear them all at the same 
time on formal occasions. But an American possessing an American decora- 
tion wears it at any time that he also wears a foreign one, with, as has been 
noted, the American one always taking precedence. 

American decorations are worn in order of their particular importance, 
irrespective of when they were bestowed. Foreign decorations are worn 
in order of their bestowal, irrespective of their relative importance. 

The rule that foreign decorations are worn according to order of bestowal 
has the following exception: at a reception or dinner abroad in honor of a 
foreign official or any distinguished citizen of a foreign nation, any decora- 
tion an American has received from that country takes precedence over his 
other foreign decorations for the occasion. 




Golf courses fall into two categories, the private club to which one must be 
invited by a member and the public course open to all upon payment of 
a fixed green fee and caddy fee. On both public and private courses the 
caddy fee varies greatly as does the green fee. 

At a private club guests usually pay their own green fee and caddy fee. 
At the "nineteenth hole" (the bar) it is usual among men for the loser or 
losers to pay for a round of drinks, but often each player picks up his own 

Exceptions: The Medal of Honor and the Presidential Citation ribbon are worn 
on the right. With evening dress the Medal of Honor is worn on a broad blue 
ribbon around the neck, hanging just below the tie. The Presidential Citation 
ribbon is worn, by both men and women, on the right, in miniature, for full eve- 
ning dress. The Navy, in uniform, wears even these decorations on the left. 


At the first tee there is no special order of precedence except that a guest 
or guests would be asked to tee off first and a woman or older player would 
usually be given the first drive. Thereafter, the winner tees off first. Some- 
times on crowded courses, when eight or ten players arrive at the first tee 
at once, there is a ball slide into which players are expected to place their 
first ball as they step onto the green. When their ball emerges it is their 
turn to tee off. This system was devised to obviate dissension at the first 
tee. A player who is unaware that it is used, however, and who does not put 
his ball in the slide may miss out on the play entirely or at least be delayed. 

Two players supposedly take precedence over a foursome, which must 
necessarily play much more slowly. It is good golf manners for a foursome 
to allow a twosome to go through. On the other hand, a twosome that is 
playing a leisurely game always permits a businesslike foursome to play 
through. Any other combination of players, from the lone golfer to the 
"gang" over four must allow the twosome or the foursome precedence. 
On many courses, especially public ones, only twosomes or foursomes are 
permitted on crowded week ends. 

Even non-golfers should know the rules concerning quiet as a player tees 
off. Other players should stand still not even make practice swings with 
their clubs nor speak to their caddies as another player addresses the ball. 
When a ball is lost other players in the group help look for it, but the search 
is never drawn out to such an extent as to hold up the play a few minutes 
is enough. If he wishes, a player who has lost a ball may go on to the next 
hole, leaving his caddy to make a further search. 

Great care must be taken not to tee off when others are in line with what 
a player hopes will be the flight of the ball and certainly never until the 
players ahead have each had their second strokes. The warning "fore" may 
not carry sufficiently against even a light wind. It should be used infre- 
quently. Instead, a player should wait until goffers immediately ahead are 
well out of range. 

clothes The most comfortable trousers for golf are slacks, usually in gray 
flannel or the tannish gabardines. In winter a regular tucked-in sport shirt 
with a fight pull-over is the conservative choice with the slacks in pleasant 
weather. In cold weather a windbreaker or leather jacket is worn over a 
sport shirt with or without the addition of a pull-over. Socks, summer and 
winter, are best in wool, argyle, white or bright colors such as canary. Hats 
are always of the sports type, a snap-brim, unbound felt, a rough straw, a cap 
or a turned down duck hat such as is worn sailing. Shoes should be rubber- 
soled (not sneakers) or regular cleated golf shoes. 

In hot weather loose sport shirts, not tucked in, in conservative solid 
colors are worn by some (depends on the man) over light, often blue, linen 
or duck slacks. Shorts are definitely taboo, and, of course, neckties if worn 
must be suited to sport shirts. They may be knit wool, cotton, or string or 
perhaps a gay cotton bow tie. A golf tie should not be silk, but a silk choppa, 
knotted beneath the collar of a sport shirt, is attractive for sports wear. 



White clothes are so traditional on the tennis court that it is obvious that 
there must be a reason for them. Dark colors, even in light-weight cotton 
or other fabrics, under a beating sun would absorb the rays, while white 
deflects them. That is why white clothing is worn in the tropics. The extrava- 
gant white flannel trousers that used to be de rigueur for the well-dressed 
tennist are certainly dreadfully hot, despite their lack of color, but that is 
because of the weave rather than the weight of the material and the same 
may be said of the white ducks that have always been considered correct. 
In tournaments including the internationals white knee-length shorts are 
worn. Any comfortable white sport shirt or a polo shirt permitting full play 
in the shoulders and arms is worn on the court for the warm-up, if the player 
wishes, or to be thrown over his shoulders, or donned, when he comes off 
the court. White wool socks are preferred, even in the hottest weather, as 
affording the best protection to the feet against the pounding on the court. 
Wool socks, as a matter of fact, are superior at all times of the year to rayon, 
cotton, or nylon for any active wear, because they allow for the evaporation 
of perspiration. (Some men even wear very sheer black wool evening socks, 
ribbed or plain, for dancing, for this reason.) 

The tennis hat is usually soft white duck, sometimes with a green under- 
brim to protect the eyes from glare. Such hats are usually washable, al- 
though to see those worn by most men, you wouldn't think so. Tennis shoes 
are the flat, rubber-soled, heelless ones developed originally for the game. 
Wearing any other type of shoe, rubber-soled or not, generally calls forth 
a severe reprimand from the grounds committee and removal of the 
offender from the court. 

Lawn tennis courts should not be torn up by leather or composition soles, 
either, but rubber-soled shoes or other types than the tennis shoe are often 
worn for badminton. 

Many men prefer the knee-length English tennis shorts, in white or sand, 
to flannels or ducks for both badminton and tennis. They are comfortable 
and look well on most men. They should not be too short. An initial invest- 
ment in shorts of excellent quality, properly tailored (they are usually pleated 
at the belt-line like well-fitting English slacks) will mean a long-run saving. 
In buying them, look for durable, closely woven material, slide fasteners, 
reinforced seams, sufficient leg length to cover the thigh to the knee, the 
absence of metal on fabric belts or half-belts, and a hem that is generous 
enough so that it won't fray out at the first hard laundering. Don't try to sub- 
stitute white or tan bathing shorts for tennis shorts. Really proper with Eng- 
lish shorts are long white wool, turn-over socks that come just below the knee 
and which are worn, of course, without garters. The alternative is the white 
wool anklet, with or without a cuff. Ordinary length white wool socks, worn 
necessarily without garters, look sloppy and tend to ride into the heel of the 
tennis shoe. 


behavior on the tennis court A sociologist or a psychiatrist could glean 
considerable information about any tennis player's personality defects by 
watching his behavior on the tennis court. There is something about this 
game played in its sun-baked, circumscribed area with its inevitable gallery 
that spotlights character more quickly than any other except badminton. In 
these games each man stands revealed, even in a game of mixed doubles. 
He has plenty of room in which to throw a tantrum or his racket lots of 
space in which to yell and hurl taunts at his opponent, many opportunities 
to cheat when there is no referee and his word as a sportsman and gentle- 
man decides whether ball or shuttlecock are "in" or "out." There is sufficient 
opportunity for watchers to observe the apologist whose "bum serve" is 
loudly explained by all kinds of things except his lack of technical skill at 
the game. We see here the man whose anxiety about himself carries over 
to the court a man who doesn't dare to lose a game and who, if he does 
come out the loser at the end of the set, derives none of the relaxation the 
game should supply, but only adds to his inner anger and aggressions. 

People cannot be taught by rules alone how to behave in any game so 
that others will not be disturbed and inconvenienced by their actions. This 
is because what a man is, he is most likely to express in the way he plays, 
and no list of rules is going to change the unconscious attitude he brings 
to the game. But if he can't or won't get in tune with the rules, social pres- 
sure usually effects his compliance with them. No man can play tennis, 
badminton, or table tennis by himself, as he can play golf, hunt rabbits, or 
shoot clay pigeons. He needs at least one opponent, and if he is consistently 
objectionable as a player he finds everyone worthy of his mettle either 
hostilely unwilling to play with him or else having other commitments 
often suspiciously far into the future. When this goes on too long an intelli- 
gent man finds out what's wrong with himself, the boorish one quits the game 
and then belittles it and the stupid or unyielding one resorts to playing 
with the professionals at a fee or with any members of his family unable 
to say him nay. 

Here, then, are the rules of the tennis or badminton court, and many apply 
equally well to many other sports even the British cricket. In fact, the 
phrase "it isn't cricket" has come to epitomize all things unfair and uncom- 
fortable to others in social, political, business, and even amorous behavior. 

1. Come decently attired to the court, in clean, acceptable clothes ap- 
propriate to the game. 

2. If no court is immediately available, await your turn courteously, mak- 
ing no attempt to disturb a play setup until a set has been completed by 
those in possession of the court and there is ample indication that a deter- 
mining set is not to follow. If a set of singles has just been played, any 
suggestion that the court be given over to doubles must come from the 
players already on the court, although on a crowded day any considerate 
players would make such a suggestion, even if the club rules didn't require 
fair sharing of the courts on Saturdays, Sundays, and holidays. 



3. Inexperienced players should not demand to share court space with 
crack players on crowded days, but should team up with those in their own 
class. If week ends and holidays are the only times they can practice or learn 
the game, they should try to occupy the courts either very early or late or 
at any time when others more proficient are not waiting for them. But fast, 
able players, in turn, should be satisfied with fewer sets on busy days. If they 
play more than three, they should break up the foursome to include some 
fresh player or players. 

4. Each court is an island. Keep your activities and remarks and conver- 
sation within it, so as not to disturb other players or make a boiler factory 
of the club house porch or the side lines. Spectators, presumably dues- 
payers too, have the right to watch the game without being jolted by loud 
hoots of triumph, yells of despair, swearing, shouted imprecations, racket 
throwing, or other unseemly exhibitionism. 

5. Toss rackets for first serve, or choose any other method of deciding 
pleasantly who should start the service, but don't assume the service your- 
self, unless asked to do so. A first serve, unless you know your opponent 
expects and can meet vigorous competition from the start, should be a 
moderate or slow one to indicate that this is a pleasurable game of give-and- 
take you are initiating, not a would-be one-sided slaughter. 

6. If the sun will be in the eyes of a player or players on one side of the 
net, you may offer to take the sunny side in the initial game yourself, es- 
pecially if you have invited your opponent to play, or determine the side 
each takes by toss. 

7. Don't alibi your game in any way. Play as well as you can, except in a 
friendly game against a decidedly unworthy opponent and then if you do 
relax out of fellowship and to make the game a little more interesting and 
encouraging for him or her don't be offensively obvious about it. If you 
let anyone beat you or nearly win never say so. Don't take the wind out 
of the other fellow's sails. Leading on a coming player this way may develop 
him into exhilarating competition later on, to your own advantage. 

8. Be a cheerful loser and a modest winner. Don't crow over your tri- 
umphs or sulk or exhibit anger over your defeat. If you are constantly de- 
feated and feel angry or discouraged about it to such a degree that the game 
is not a pleasure to you or your opponents, take more lessons, play only 
with other players in your class, or change your game to something else that 
suits you better physically or emotionally than this exacting, competitive 
game. Insisting on playing a game for which, after a fair amount of time, 
you show no natural aptitude is frustrating to you and annoying to all but 
the most complacent opponents. 

9. While spectators have their rights, they also are subject to rules guar- 
anteeing the rights of the players. Spectators should make no comments, 
critical or otherwise, from the side lines during the course of play. They 
must not distract the players by invading the court for any reason or dodging 
past the back line while play is in progress. They should not lean on the 


posts, climb on the fence, leave the gate open, or touch the net. They should 
not throw anything onto a court or behind it such as a burned-out cigarette 
as this can cause a player to fall or miss a shot. Drunkenness is no more 
desirable on a club porch than it is on the court itself. The function of a 
tennis club is to provide playing opportunities for members who expect to 
play tennis. Any spectators there happen to be, from small boys to old 
gaffers, must respect the players' right to play without interference or dis- 
traction from the gallery. 

10. When you ask your opponent to keep the score you have no alterna- 
tive but to accept his count. If you know he has colored the scoring to favor 
his own side, you are privileged not to play with him again or, at least, not 
to permit him to keep score again, but don't make an issue of it publicly or 
even privately. 

11. At game and set, thank your opponents or opponent. You needn't 
apologize for winning nor explain why you lost a matter that is usually 
obvious enough. It's not necessary, Wimbledon style, to leap over the net to 
show the winner how magnanimous you feel about being trounced. In fact, 
easy give and especially easy take seems the essence of good sportsmanship 
in social games. Even where stiff competition for the sake of a cup or other 
honor is involved the same rules of courtesy hold sway. 


The word "yacht" comes from the Dutch verb jagen, to hunt. Essentially a 
yacht is a pleasure craft, a light sailing vessel meant for racing, but the 
term can refer to any pleasure craft that is not propelled by oars, whether 
it derives its power from the wind or from steam or electric power. 

Anything over one hundred feet is technically a ship. All sailboats with 
the exception of skiffs (light rowing or skulling boats) are correctly called 
yachts, but seasoned yachtsmen casually refer to anything under sail as a 
"boat" and to themselves as "sailors." To refer to one's own sailboat, what- 
ever its size, as a yacht, seems pretentious, even though, again technically, 
a boat is actually a dinghy, a launch, tender, rowboat or skiff, none of 
which is in the yachting, or racing class. 

There are numerous yacht classes, some distinguished by the class mark 
on the mainsail the Star, International, Atlantic, Lightning, all racing classes 
several by meters and others by their length. Yachts of the same class 
usually race together or, if they are unevenly matched, they are raced on a 
handicap basis. 

A fanatical sailor spurns any auxiliary power in a sailboat, preferring to 
get in and out of harbors and yacht basins under sail and to take his chances 
on a homeward-bound wind. When yachtsmen become fathers and there are 
children aboard to consider, this fanaticism is often tempered for a time 
and a "kicker" is added to the gear at least until the children can be taught 
to sail. 



Because the space aboard a yacht is circumscribed, the rule of the sea 
concerning neatness must be observed by guests. Everything must be ship- 
shape. No one should come aboard a yacht with a stiff suitcase. Stowable 
gear is always canvas. Guests on any owner-sailed yacht should be prepared 
either to lend a hand or to find a way to keep out of the way, especially at 
those crucial times when the sails are being hoisted or lowered, the course 
is being changed, or a jib is being broken out. Guests who have never been 
on the sea before can learn to do the small jobs such as pumping out the 
bilge or polishing the bright work. 

Smoking aboard a small boat must be limited to the times when the boat 
is on its course that is, for working hands. Cigarettes must not be thrown 
on the decks and stamped out or tossed over on the windward side, which 
would cause the sparks to fly back aboard. Garbage, too, must never be 
disposed of to windward or, of course, in a yacht basin or harbor. 

On large yachts with a paid hand and crew, guests do not fraternize. Their 
relations with the crew are formal, and they call the men by their last names. 
A professional captain is called by his title and is treated with respect due 
his highly technical calling. On a very large yacht the stewards who attend 
the cabins and saloon are called either by their last names or simply "stew- 

yachting clothes What one wears aboard depends on the size of the yacht 
and where it is tied up. 

A man invited to lunch or dine aboard a large yacht (with a saloon and 
cabins ) tied up at a city club would wear just what he would wear in town. 
If he is to join the same yacht at an out-of-town mooring he would wear 
suitable country clothes and rubber- or rope-soled shoes and some kind of 
cap or hat that would not blow off in a wind. Warm sweaters, even in mild 
weather, are essential and shorts, preferably of the longer variety, often com- 
fortable, but they should be worn with knee-length, cuffed wool socks. 

On smaller yachts under fifty feet, or even on those over fifty feet where 
there is no paid crew, male guests (and sometimes female ones) should be 
prepared to lend a hand. This requires hardy clothts never span new ones. 
Duck, sailcloth, or denim trousers are best with T-shirts and pull-over sweat- 
ers, pea jackets, or wind-resistant jackets. For sailing in sloppy weather 
parkas are ideal; otherwise a raincoat, preferably an oilskin with hat, is a 
necessity. Socks are best in white or light wool. Sunglasses or a sun-peak cap 
are advisable as a shield against the glare. Sunburn cream or lotion is needed, 
too, unless the skin has acquired a protective tan, for sunburn hazard is far 
greater on the water than on land. If the boat is very small, it is a good idea 
for a man to wear bathing trunks under his trousers, if he plans to swim. 
No one, needless to say, should dive overboard except from the stern or 
sides of the boat and then only with the captain's permission and only, too, 
when there is a tow line out the back if the boat is under sail. At all times 
the captain is responsible for the safety of the passengers. 



Sportsmen have very stiff notions of what constitutes a gentleman, and 
unless you know these shibboleths you may be guilty, in your enthusiasm 
over a sport new to you, of offending, of being classified as a boor rather 
than, more fairly, as a mere ignoramus. Sportsmen are notably intolerant 
about non-conformist behavior. 

In playing all games and pursuing all sports in a team or group you must 
abide by the accepted rules unless, of course, the majority of players or 
participators agrees to relax the rules in some way or adopt other ones pro 
cem. For example (to the horror of experts), on our own badminton court, 
we prefer to score in the manner of ping-pong rather than use the regulation 
scoring as set down by the American Badminton Association. We do this 
because we think the ping-pong scoring speeds up the game and is easier 
to keep track of for both spectators and players. But on neighbors' courts 
where the usual rules are well-established, we follow them and allow our 
host the privilege of keeping the more complicated score. 

When swimming, you do not swim beneath the diving board, for reasons 
that should be perfectly obvious, or jump off a raft into the midst of water- 
treading or floating bathers instead you slip off backwards to create the 
least possible backwash. On most beaches bathing trunks without tops are 
now permitted, as are the briefest of trunks. A man should be perfectly 
objective about his figure, however, before deciding in favor of extremely 
attenuated costumes. 

Swimming in the same ocean does not give a man the right to force his 
conversation or attentions on other usually feminine swimmers or sun 
bathers. Exhibitions of water-splashing, porpoising, wrestling, and sand- 
throwing, often engaged in by very young men to attract feminine attention, 
usually make them offensive in the very eyes of those they seek to attract, 
and certainly make them loathsome to the run-of-the-beach bather in search 
of a little peace. 

There are various sports followed solo or in groups or teams, for which 
unwritten rules exist. If you hunt in the deer-shooting season, for example, 
you must not wear a white shirt or show a white handkerchief or anything 
else white, for that matter for it might be mistaken for that little patch of 
white on a deer's tail and so call forth a shot by another hunter stalking 
game in the same terrain. Loud talking or even noisy movements that 
frighten away the game limit not only your own possibility of making a 
kill but that of other hunters. In bagging small game, such as partridge or 
grouse, determine the legal limit before setting out and stay within it. It 
is not good sportsmanship to go over the permitted bag, even when there is 
little possibility of being caught at it. In shooting small game, never fire 
until the birds are on the wing, never shoot down a treed animal or one in 
cover, never horse in a fish without playing him on the line give all a sport- 
ing chance to escape. In a wild turkey shoot, the sportsmen often camp 



under the trees in which the birds have roosted for the night, but any man 
who tried to wing one before it left the roost would be considered no gentle- 
man. When you are working with dogs, wait until they have flushed the 
birds well out of cover and never shoot too low or you may pepper the dogs 
instead of the birds. 

Guns, even in the hands of experts, are dangerous weapons. Look well 
before you aim, check the position of others in the party before you shoot. 
Carry guns, when not actively hunting or shooting, with the safety catch on. 
In the field, except when actually shooting, and en route, carry them with 
the muzzle down or with the gun over the shoulder with muzzle pointing 
up, or "break" the gun. Unload your gun when you enter the shooting wagon 
or car and when you stack it. Never lean on a gun. 

In shooting with dogs, give orders only to your own. If another hunter's 
dog retrieves for you by mistake, don't take the bird from him yourself. Ask 
the owner or the handler to do so, as game retrieved by a dog is considered 
the property of the dog's master rather than of the man who shot it down. 
Also, a hunting dog must, more than any other, be a "one man dog." He is 
not a pet in the usual sense but a work dog and should receive his orders 
and his commendations only from his owner or handler, from whom he is 
trained to expect both. Shooting is like tennis in one respect you don't take 
another man's shot. If a bird comes within range of another huntsman's 
gun, leave it to him. Don't "reach" for it, even though you, as a better marks- 
man, are certain he will miss it. 


Comfortable, loose-fitting clothes corduroys, flannel shirts are wanted. A 
red hat, a patch of red for the sleeve or back of a jacket, or even a red hand- 
kerchief knotted around the cap, is a necessary safety device. High-laced 
boots, waterproofed, are needed for marshlands and snake country. Other- 
wise any heavy, comfortable shoes cushioned by wool socks will do. A hunter 
who goes into a blind inadequately prepared to withstand hours of cold and 
damp will be persona non grata. If you have never owned long woolen un- 
derwear, prepare to wear it now and if you're a novice, maybe two pairs are 
better than one. A man in a blind who complains unendingly of the cold 
because he isn't dressed for it is in the same class as the pariah who ruins 
the fishing trip because he has not developed the fisherman's quiet philoso- 
phy of "watchful waiting" and can't sit still for what may prove to be fruit- 
less hours without a catch. 

In fishing and in duck hunting, you hear much about the need for being 
quiet so as not to frighten off the quarry. Low conversation is permissible in 
deep-sea fishing but not in surface fishing, as fish can hear and they feel 
vibrations such as are made by throwing an empty beer bottle into the water, 
by rocking the boat, by banging of any sort. Ducks' hearing is very acute, 
even when they are high above the blind. Fish take fright at violent move- 
ment, if they are surface swimmers. It takes a certain philosophical state of 


mind, a rigid self-control to make one a good fisherman or duck hunter, 
and especially an acceptable companion in these enterprises. 

In the matter of terminology, one "shoots" other birds but "hunts" ducks. 
You "hunt" deer and other four-footed game. The serious hunter and fisher- 
man may cling to the superstition as does the actor stepping on-stage that 
you spoil his luck if you wish him good luck as he starts out. 

distress signal People handling guns should know the distress signal three 
shots fired at three-second intervals. 


The traditional ski costume consists of special baggy leg, ankle-hugging ski 
pants with elastic that goes under the arch of the foot to hold the pants in 
the heavy ski boots. The idea is to keep them both warm and dry, so the new 
water- and wind-resistant fabrics of treated cotton are more effective than 
plain wool. A coat, sometimes hooded, of matching material is worn over 
a wool shirt or sweater. A ski cap with ear tabs is a requisite, too, as are two 
pair of thick wool socks (these are put on before the trousers are put on), 
and warm, gauntleted mittens or gloves in wool are worn underneath. The 
outside gloves or mittens are of water-repellent cloth. The pants are always 
tapered and have a razor-edged crease in front. The ski outfit for both men 
and women is good for many other winter sports such as tobogganing, out- 
door skating, and hiking on snow-covered roads. 

Skiing requires careful instruction from professionals or friends. The tyro 
skier is a menace to himself and others if he blunders onto a difficult run 
or discards his poles Swedish style before he is ready. He must do his 
practicing on the simpler slopes and behave as modestly as the beginner 
in other sports in the presence of accomplished skiers. It is tiring for one 
whose muscles are unaccustomed to the effort, but the beginner must 
herringbone up the slopes or use the ski or rope tow and not walk up, 
breaking the crust and making the slope perilous or unusable for others. 
As he makes his precipitous way down the trail, he shouts "track" to warn 
others of his approach. On the slalom run, when he graduates to it, he is 
thoughtful to put back any gate poles he dislodges right away, not on his 
ascent. His conduct on the ski tow or rope tow should say very plainly, "I'm 
a beginner and I want to learn the rules of this sport." If in his embarrass- 
ment at being a beginner he acts the cutup, he will be considered crass, to 
say the least. Generally speaking, this is a sport that must be learned on 
locale, although it is sometimes possible to take a few lessons from profes- 
sionals indoors. If you decide to learn to ski, don't spoil the fun of pro- 
fessional skiers or of others out of your strictly amateur class. Mind your own 
quiet business and take your lessons seriously, or there is a fine chance that 
you may break your neck. 

Almost anyone can skate if he has strong ankles. I've seen babies skating 
almost as soon as they learned to walk, and I've seen men and women in 



their seventies showing a gay blade. It all depends on how you go about it. 
There's always the skater who looks as if he's skating to a fire round and 
round he races, frightening all the timid ones. There's the old gentleman in 
the middle of the rink performing graceful figure eights and bothering no 
one. There's the little boy on the double runners shuffling a foot or two at 
a time while clutching desperately at a hockey stick held by his father. 

The clothes you wear for skating should be warm wool or wind-resistant 
and waterproof material. Skates attached to shoes are safer than the kind 
you attach yourself and, of course, better-looking. An older man may cling 
to his knickers for skating, and at that they are more comfortable for the 
purpose than cuffed tweed trousers, I am sure. A young man wears ski pants 
or slacks. 

On an indoor rink you soon find your place among the slow or fast skaters 
the fast ones are usually on the outside of the rink, and heaven help you if 
you stray in their path. As on the street, a man takes the outside position 
when he's accompanying a lady. Tripping a skater through your own awk- 
wardness or foolish interference is grounds for mayhem. Loud shouting or 
games of tag disturb the philosophical skaters on a metropolitan indoor or 
outdoor rink, and usually an official puts a stop to them if they occur. If you 
cut any capers, be sure they are graceful ones that will be appreciated by 
the inevitable onlookers. 



The well-groomed man looks clean, his clothes fit him comfortably, his 
shoes are well shined and their heels in good order, his tie is neatly tied so 
that it covers the collar joining and the short end lies well under the longer 
one if he's wearing a four-in-hand. If he ties his tie in a Windsor knot, the 
knot should be small and tidy, not theatrically large. If he wears a bow tie, 
it should be solidly foursquare, not a droopy little blob or with the ends 
tucked under the collar. 

If he can help it, the well-groomed man never wears a suit the second day 
without having it pressed, unless it is of a material such as tweed or a 
nylon or other synthetic mixture which shakes out overnight. To facilitate 
this, he hangs his trousers over the bar of a valet stand when he takes them 
off or puts them immediately in their hanger one for each pair of trousers. 
His coat is hung on a hanger or on the valet stand and buttoned so it will 
fall into shape. 


A fastidious man never wears the same underwear or socks the second 
day, and he is never without a clean handkerchief. He keeps his nails clean 
and short with the cuticle pushed back. If he has his nails professionally 
manicured, they may be buffed but should never have any colored or even 
colorless polish applied. 

A man who's unduly hirsute should have his barber clip the hairs in his 
ears and nostrils (but, of course, for safety's sake, never tweeze them). If 
his eyebrows run rampant they can be cautiously weeded out to give him a 
more groomed appearance, although any tweezing should be restricted to 
stray eyebrows or to the heavy hairs between the brows a man's brow line 
should never be thinned or obviously shaped. 

For the man with the blue jowl there seems to be no other course than 
that of a twice-daily shave. Powder doesn't really cover that bristle. The 
husband who gives himself a shaving holiday on a day at home is in the 
same class as the wife who doesn't put on her make-up or take her hair out 
of curlers until afternoon. 

The well-groomed man never allows his hair to get so shaggy his new 
haircut is all too apparent. His hair is trimmed as often as necessary to keep 
it from colliding with his collar or his ears. He has it scissor-trimmed, not 
clipped, so as to avoid an ugly ridge across the back of his head. His side- 
burns are worn short but should be scissored rather than closely clipped or 
shaved. They are needed to give balance to his face. If he is bald he should 
realize that letting his side or back hair grow long enough to drape stickily 
over the bald spot deceives no one and usually produces a peculiar parting 
in the hair. And, let him be sure his bald pate is washed as often as he 
washes his face, because it is just as vulnerable to dirt. 

I have a particularly soft spot for bald-headed men because so many of 
them suffer so obviously and needlessly from what they consider a handicap. 
Anthropologists have pointed out that baldness is often hereditary, that it is 
a very male type of complaint because usually it comes from overactivity of 
the pituitary gland, one of the glands that make men men. Scientists have 
pointed out, too, that eunuchs are very seldom bald. On the other hand, 
we associate luxuriant hair with femininity. And satyrs are depicted as bald. 
Perhaps women's intuition tells her these things, because you rarely find a 
wife concerned over the baldness of her husband. If he could understand 
this, he would sweep his hat off on the street, not lift it timidly or touch 
the brim in an effort to keep his secret shame to himself. And when he goes 
to a photographer, he will not insist on being photographed with his hat on 
a dead giveaway. Instead, he will get help in making up his bald spot for 
the occasion, so that it will not be high-lighted in the picture. Any woman 
can show him how this is painlessly and quickly done. 

Some men perspire quite heavily, winter and summer. If this perspiration 
is excessive enough to stain his suits under the arm a man should have re- 
course to any of the commercially available deodorants and perspiration 
checks offered for both men's and women's use. (If hatbands show perspira- 



tion marks they should be changed as often as necessary.) Daily or some- 
times twice-daily baths or showers should be routine for any man, but for 
the heavy perspirer they are obligatory. No cologne or powder can possibly 
cover the need of thorough daily cleansing. 

Mention of cologne brings me to the observation that custom has changed 
in this respect, too. A few years back no American he-man would have con- 
sidered using a bit of cologne on his handkkerchief or after his bath. A man 
didn't use perfumes or so he pretended. But American men, nevertheless, 
were inundated in a sea of ill-blended effluvia violet hair tonic, mint, lilac, 
or carnation after-shave lotion, lilies of the valley or some such in their 
talcum, pine or geraniums in their bath soap. Now there are matched sets 
of these preparations for men or mercifully odorless items that won't conflict 
with a little good-quality men's cologne. True cologne, spicy and fresh, was 
always used by well-groomed men and women abroad, and there are many 
muted odors that suit even the most masculine male a lot better than do 
the violent odors in many popular hair tonics and lotions. Used restrainedly, 
simple colognes and toilet waters of the spicy variety (one at a time) are 
attractive for men and increase the impression of careful grooming. 

Most men's hair does need some dressing to keep it in place, but daily 
application of such preparations eventually leaves the hair heavy, sticky, 
and inclined to pick up odors of tobacco smoke, even if a man doesn't smoke 
himself. If these various pomatums aren't shampooed out once a week, on 
a minimum, they may even take on a rancidity, of which the gentleman may 
be quite unconscious. Every shower should have handy to it a bottle of sham- 
poo. Just letting the shower soak the slightly soaped hair is not enough. 
Hair that has been heavily oiled needs several soapings and rinsings. Using 
liquid castile or a detergent shampoo prevents bits of soap from sticking 
to the hair. 

The man who wants to make the proper appearance wears clean clothes 
always even those items which by c ome are considered proper only if well 
dirtied up. Most men look better after their new hats begin to conform to 
the shape of their heads, but the battered old hat, no matter how Jear to 
the wearer, contributes a careless rather than the hoped-for casual effect. 
As for shirts, they must be clean daily. It is good for a man to cultivate a 
very necessary vanity the kind that is well this side of fussiness, of course. 

My grandfather used to say that he judged a man by his shoes. Perhaps 
he was saying that our external effect is often the only one most people see 
and judge us by. 

It takes time and care for a man to dress well. He can't do so if he throws 
his clothes over a chair at night and gets up so late in the morning he hasn't 
time to give any thought to what he'll put on. He grabs a shirt from the 
drawer, puts it on before choosing his suit for the day, lifts a tie from the 
rack with no consideration for his socks, shoves his feet into his untreed 
shoes without undoing the laces, gulps his breakfast, hustles into his top- 
coatwhich hasn't been pressed all season puts on his hat and is off. His 


pockets are bulging with yesterday's handkerchiefs, his heels need lifts, his 
hat could do with a blocking or at least a brushing. He's a pretty average 
American businessman. If he ever does catch sight of himself in the mirror, 
he decides that nothing can be done about it anyway. He hasn't a valet, he 
hasn't time, and very probably or so he imagines hasn't the money. 

One of the best-dressed men I know went through a period, after years 
of military service, when he had two presentable suits, one pair of gray flan- 
nels, a sport jacket, two pairs of shoes, one tie, a gabardine raincoat, and a 
snap brim brown hat. The clothes he had he bought with great care and 
paid as much for each item as his budget could stand. His shirts were all 
light blue, both suits gray one a flannel and the other a fine Glen plaid. His 
tie was blue, red, and white, always pressed, always spotless, and worn with 
the air of a club tie whose style and color would always be the same, too. 
His hair was always well-trimmed and he learned to trim it himself to save 
money. He alternated the wearing of his two pairs of shoes and kept them 
handsomely shined and carefully repaired. His handkerchiefs were plain 
white linen, always fresh. His clean shirts he hung on hangers to keep the 
collar tabs and the cuffs from rumpling. 

There is more to good grooming than good, clean clothes, of course, but 
cleanliness, neatness in dress has much to do with the outer integration of 
the man. Taste in dress is innate in some, acquired in others but it can be 
had by any man who wants it. Top business and professional men usually 
dress well because certain standards of dress are set them by the circles in 
which they move. But money alone doesn't determine the final effect. 

cosmetic defects There are men who, if they look in the mirror except to 
shave, either fail to notice certain obvious cosmetic defects or else think that 
it is effeminate to consider them seriously. Among these are chapped lips, 
blackheads, pimples, unsightly moles, dirty, stained teeth, and scaly scalp. 
Ordinary yellow vaseline or a bit of cold cream applied nightly or in the 
morning will relieve chapped and cracked lips. Blackheads and pimples may 
be in the province of a dermatologist if they are very evident, but thorough 
scrubbing of the face with hot water and plenty of soap at least once a day 
may stimulate the skin so it can police itself. A good barber or a loving wife 
using a sterile comedo extractor and a hot towel can keep blackheads at bay 
if utmost care is taken. Pimples should not be opened, especially on the face, 
as a resulting infection can be serious. Instead they should be dried up with 
a lotion or salve for the purpose. If true acne occurs, see a doctor about a 
possible change in diet or other corrective regimen. A diet high in fats and 
carbohydrates can cause this unsightly disfigurement. Moles, especially if 
they interfere with shaving, should be removed surgically or by the electric 
spark or other accepted method by a regular doctor treating such things, not 
by a barber or cosmetician. Barber treatments of really serious scalp disorders 
will probably make the situation worse. All scalps are somewhat scaly. Vigor- 
ous daily brushing with clean brushes help carry this flaky refuse off, as does 



a careful weekly shampoo. Even a bachelor can learn to clean his combs and 
brushes as often as necessary in a solution of ammonia and cold water. 

unattractive teeth Some teeth gather tartar because of smoking, some be- 
cause of improper and hurried cleaning, and some for reasons no dentist 
can determine. Teeth that do stain in this way should be professonally 
cleaned, probably every three months, otherwise the tartar gathers mouth 
acids, causes unpleasant breath, and, if not removed, can loosen teeth by 
causing pyorrhea. Aside from this medical reason for having clean teeth, 
there is certainly the cosmetic and social one. You may have the kind of 
teeth that don't show when you smile or talk, but they do show perhaps in 
all their dreariness when you laugh. And your breath depends on the con- 
dition of your mouth and teeth to an important extent. Offense here can have 
a deleterious effect on business, social, and, yes, especially love life. Don't 
let your oral hygiene go unchecked. See your dentist and dental hygienist 
as often as they deem necessary and learn, as an adult, how to wash your 
teeth and how to keep the spaces between your teeth free of food particles 
through the use of dental floss or dental picks (the professional kind den- 
tists suggest) preferably after each meal. There is no nostrum that can dis- 
guise the need for dental attention or hygiene. 


At first glance, from a feminine standpoint at least, the bachelor seems to 
have no problems whatsoever. He may be fat, bald, poor, homely, and dull, 
but someone will corral him as a dinner partner. The bachelor to the des- 
perate hostess seems as rare and wondrous as the cigar store Indian and as 
worthy of collecting. A hostess without an almost inexhaustible list of fairly 
presentable bachelors on her list is really up against it. 

The superior, highly eligible bachelor, of course, needs but to keep him- 
self in clothes. Just enough to cover him decently, at that. Unlike his unmar- 
ried sister, he need give no thought at all to his appearance, as his appearance 
at all is enough. Everyone knows that a man can always marry even if he 
reaches 102, is penniless, and has all faculties gone. There is always some 
woman willing to take a chance on him. 

However, bachelors, I am told, really do have problems. One of them 
told me all hostesses treat all bachelors like supernumeraries. "They invite 
me to fill in at their dinners at the last minute, never thinking I might like, 
for once, to bring a girl of my own. I always get stuck with someone's un- 
wanted relative. I am expected to fetch her and take her home. And act 
exhilarated during the proceedings." 

Bachelors tell me, too, that motheriy women assume they are lonely, 
especially over week ends, and invite them to spend such free time in the 
child-ridden country or suburbs, but neither provide attractive, young, fem- 
inine company nor suggest that they bring some along. 

It can be very expensive to be a bachelor if the young ladies he escorts 


insist on going to night clubs and to the to-be-seen-in restaurants. If he says 
frankly he can't afford such places a girl with any sense will settle for places 
he can afford. Actually, he may sensibly return to the time-honored custom 
of calling on a girl at home and leaving the responsibility of feeding her up 
to her parents. 



The encouraging thing about etiquette is that it can be learned, that it 
doesn't necessarily have to be bred in the bone though that is, of course, 
the way it would come easiest. 

Professor Arthur M. Schlesinger of Harvard in a learned discussion of 
etiquette throughout American history points out that Andrew Jackson, 
elected to the presidency in 1828, was our first President not in the Adams- 
Washington aristocratic tradition. He was the son of a desperately poor 
Scotch-Irish immigrant, who through native ability rose to highest office, 
correcting his rough manners as he went along to such a degree that, as 
Schlesinger puts it, he "excited the admiration of both friend and foe by his 
urbane and courtly demeanor." 

Knowledge and instinctive practice of accepted good manners does not, 
of course, make the gentleman. A real gentleman, a man with a heart for the 
kind, considerate, decent thing may have no manners at all, in the usual 
sense. Polished manners and a scurrilous character can well be encountered 
in the same individual just as a man may dress like a gentleman as a result 
of careful imitation, yet be far from a gentleman in his daily actions. At the 
same time, it is highly desirable from a social and business point of view 
for every man to know and practice the accepted manners of his time to 
err, perhaps, on the side of punctiliousness in such things. 

Learning to make good manners almost innate makes fife easier at home 
and in business. Young men who want to become executive material must 
do more than apply themselves to the technique of their jobs. They must 
school themselves in social as well as in business manners if they want to 
get ahead. They must learn how to dress, how to conduct themselves on 
various social and business occasions, how to communicate their ideas to 
others in concise, well-chosen language. 

We have all known successful businessmen whose grammar was bad, 
whose taste in clothes was atrocious, and who broke every rule of good 



manners, if indeed they knew any existed. But this is doing it the hard way. 
It takes considerable business or professional genius to overcome the de- 
structive effect of boorishness and uncouthness. Top executives, if they must 
endure these drawbacks in a key man, are uncomfortable and apologetic 
concerning him. Often such a man is replaced, if he can be, with another 
who fits more smoothly into a growing business. The day of the hell-for- 
leather individualist in American business is passing, if it isn't completely 

I have often noticed that the great corporations invariably practice a most 
formal business etiquette. Their facade is imposing, they employ well- 
dressed, soft-spoken receptionists, they provide private offices and interoffice 
communications to cut down unnecessary noise and traffic. They usually 
exercise considerable control over the behavior and appearance of their 
employees for the sake of improved efficiency and of their public relations. 

In such offices you don't see men put their feet on desks or sit around 
with their hats on and their coats off although in some offices there is re- 
laxation concerning coats during the hot weather. But even so, employees 
are expected to don their coats when leaving their desks to welcome visitors, 
to go elsewhere in the building, or to attend conferences. In the latter case, 
they may remove them again at the invitation of their superiors and with 
the permission of any women executives present 


Gone are the days of the quill pen and communication by letter only. Busi- 
ness pace is fast, and the courtly manners of old-time business offices are 
often impractical now and few expect them. 

In business a man does not rise when his secretary enters his office to take 
dictation, although if she is newly assigned to him as his personal secretary 
he does rise to greet her and to shake her hand if she offers it. 

He rises if he has a woman caller unless she is a job applicant for a non- 
executive position. If he is on the telephone or dictating when she enters, 
he nods, indicates a chair, and rises when he has concluded his conversation, 
which he makes as brief as circumstances permit. If he must receive other 
phone calls, during the course of the interview, he excuses himself each 
time for the necessary interruption. 

If he is at his desk and a superior, man or woman, enters, he rises and 
waits until he is asked to be seated again or the caller leaves. 

If a male co-worker enters his office, he does not rise unless, perhaps, to 
greet him after an absence, for gentlemen always rise to shake hands even 
with a man or excuse themselves for being unable to do so for some reason. 

It is courteous for a man to rise for any man caller except a job applicant 
in the non-executive capacity. He certainly rises for all "gentlemen of the 
cloth" and for men very much older than himself, although, if seated, he 
may acknowledge an introduction to another contemporary joining a group 


of men, merely by nodding or saying anything that seems to come naturally 
such as "Happy to see you here," or "Nice to see you," or even a smiling 

If a woman executive is in the group joined by a man, the man who makes 
the introduction rises, unless he is the chairman (who may remain seated by 
virtue of his dignified position), as do the other men at the meeting if the 
group is of a reasonable size. Otherwise, only the men in the immediate 
vicinity of the woman to be seated rise for specific introductions if any are 
necessary. If an introduction would interrupt the meeting, the man next to 
the nearest chair rises to seat the woman, unless he is in the midst of a re- 
port or discussion. A general introduction of the woman to the group may 
be made, if convenient, by the chair, "Gentlemen, this is Miss Helena Coyle, 
from our advertising agency." In such introductions it would only cause 
confusion for all to rise. 


In leaving a room in a business office a man always steps back to allow his 
superior to go first if the other is about to leave too, or, if there seems to be 
some delay, asks permission to go first. From the standpoint of superiority, 
the top executives certainly have the privilege of leaving before their in- 
ferior women employees, but I have noticed that, even in business, most 
gentlemen step aside, no matter what their capacity, to permit the women 
present to go first, even women in non-executive capacities. It's not a bad 
idea, for if a man gets into the habit of stalking through doors ahead of his 
secretary he is likely to forget that women take precedence in this respect in 
social life. It is difficult to have one set of manners for business and another 
for home. 

The rule that a woman precedes men through doors is a set one, with the 
exception that a man goes ahead if the couple is walking the length of a 
train, opening the heavy doors and holding them open until the woman 
passes through. A woman, however, passes through a revolving door first 
after the man has set it in motion for her. 


A superior, man or woman, calling upon another employee may, of course, 
smoke without asking permission, but an outsider may not smoke in the office 
of someone else unless he is asked to do so. It makes a bad impression for 
such a caller to ask permission to smoke if he is there in his own behalf, 
asking for, say, a contract, a job, or an introduction. 

A man's secretary 

A really experienced and urbane executive keeps his relations with his 
secretary on a friendly but purely business basis even after years of associa- 



tion. In very informal offices a secretary is sometimes called by her first 
name, especially in small towns where everyone knows everyone else. But to 
the outsider and, remember, such businesses may grow to be big, imper- 
sonal corporations in time it seems less than businesslike and sometimes a 
shade too intimate for a man to call his secretary "Mary" instead of "Miss 
Jones," at least in office hours. The temptation is for everyone else, in and 
out of the office, to call her Mary, too, so that she is deprived of the dignity 
of her title. When everything goes smoothly it may be comfortable enough 
for a man to call his secretary by her first name and as is often the case in 
these instances for her to reciprocate by using his first name, but it is very 
difficult if Mary must be corrected about something or has to be fired. 

If in your office a first-name precedent has already been set, at least refer 
to the women on your staff as "Miss So and So" to visitors to the office. Let 
it be, "Miss Ross will show you out, Mr. King," not, "Mary will show you 
out." Otherwise Mr. King, who may be no better than he should be, may 
get the wrong idea entirely about Mary and make things very embarrassing 
for her. 

the pretty secretary It is only human for a man to want his secretary to be 
neat, attractive, and, if possible, pretty. He has to look at her all day long. 
But the more attractive she is, the more, for his own and her protection, he 
must treat her with careful, polite objectivity. The quickest way to trouble, 
a straight line into the maze of gossipy office politics, is for a man to pay 
more than business attention to his secretary. If it happens that both are 
free to have some social life together, if they wish, they should still maintain 
formal relations in the office if their efficiency is not to suffer. Even at that, 
it is difficult for the woman, especially, not to show others that she has her 
boss under rather special control. 

lunching and dining with one's secretary A secretary has a right to lunch 
as she wishes, in welcome solitude or with some friend in or out of the of- 
fice. For her employer to make a frequent practice of asking her to lunch 
with him so he can catch up with his work is slave-driving. Occasionally, 
it may be a good idea for a man to take his secretary to lunch for business 
or purely social reasons, to smooth their working together, but it should 
always be kept in mind that it is easier to work with those with whom we do 
not have a close emotional tie. 

If a man and his secretary are traveling together, the man may well offer 
to take his employee to dinner if otherwise she faces dinner alone. But he 
should be careful if he is married or she is to avoid any but the most 
dignified restaurants. If a married man takes his secretary to a night club, 
for instance, or some honky-tonk, whether or not they actually eat a meal, 
they are both open to some suspicion should they be observed by someone 
from home. 

There is a delicate difference in the relations between a man and a woman 
associate in his business and a man and his secretary. Society might well 


feel that a secretary could not safely refuse purely social invitations from 
her employer, except at the possible risk of her job. A woman executive 
associate has more leeway. Supposedly she can control any difficult situation 
that might arise. She might well go to a night club in a strange city with an 
associate with whom she is traveling, although if one or the other is married, 
she would not do so at home unless others were in the party or there were 
some definite business reason for going. 


making hotel reservations In making reservations at a hotel for an execu- 
tive and his secretary, the firm name should be used, not the executive's nor 
the secretary's, although it is correct for some other person in the organiza- 
tion to make the reservation if it is more convenient for return mail or tele- 
grams to be addressed to an individual. Such a reservation might read: 









Although such a message makes it clear that the two should be assigned 
to different floors, a mistake, if it is made by the reservation desk, should be 
tactfully corrected by whoever signs the register if other rooms are avail- 
able. If they are not, there need be no reason for panic. Honi soit qui mal 
y pense, which could be translated that you are your own best protection. 

how should they register? It is usual for a secretary to check into the same 
hotel as her employer, so she will be available when he needs her. As his 
secretaiy, she may sign the register, "Henry Murray," with his firm name 
and address (rather than his social address) and beneath that, "Miss Bernice 
L. Wisner, secretary, same address." The clerk, unless asked to do otherwise, 
will usually assign the two to different floors. If the employer signs the 
register, he signs the same way, giving the business address and making his 
secretary's relation to him clear by entering the information on the register. 
Any verbal explanations to the clerk may embarrass all concerned quite 

does a secretary need a chaperone? It is obviously impossible for a secretary 
traveling with her employer to insist on a chaperone or to refuse to take 
dictation in a hotel room. It is not always possible for either a man or woman 
executive to secure a hotel suite, even if such extra expense is willingly borne 



by a firm, and it is often necessary for dictation to be given when executives 

A man should not hesitate to ask his secretary, traveling with him, to take 
dictation or do other office work in his room, though not in hers, once the 
rooms have been made up. (If it is impossible to get the chambermaid to 
do the room in time, at least the bed should be pulled together, not kept 
open.) The door should be unlatched, although it is not necessary now that 
it be open. 

An employer may order lunch (but preferably not breakfast) in his room 
for his secretary and himself if necessary to conserve working time, but not 
drinks. He should not ask his secretary to dine with him in his room if it is 
at all possible for them to go to the hotel restaurant or some other one. 
Even while working, he should keep his coat on while his secretary is pres- 
ent, and she should be careful to be as completely groomed as she would 
be in her office at home. Needless to say, no man should ask his secretary 
or even a public stenographer to take his dictation when he is not fully 
dressed, unless he is ill and the fact is well-known. 


In a personal service organization one that depends on its daily contact 
with others for its business an executive should answer his own phone, if at 
all possible. Many a deal has been queered by a snippy secretary's self- 
important announcement to the telephone caller, "This is Mr. Brown's secre- 
tary speaking. What did you want to talk to him about?" It is always that 
awkward and infuriating past-tense phrase, too. Mr. Brown is probably 
right there swaying back in his swivel chair and quite able to pick up the 
phone himself. If he's any kind of an executive, he can dispose of unwanted 
callers with tact and dispatch and he does not run the risk of cutting off his 
business blood supply. 

But in case a man or woman executive is really busy, actually out of the 
office, or for the moment can't be disturbed, it is vital in almost any kind of 
business for the intermediary to handle the call in a way that will not hurt 
the firm's public relations. If the secretary can say, "Oh, Miss Johnson, Mr. 
Brown will be so sorry to hear he missed your call. I can't reach him just 
now, but where may he call you? Or is there something I can do?" Humanly 
enough, many secretaries build up their employers' importance in their own 
minds in order to bolster their own egos, and this reluctance to let the out- 
side world no matter how important the call at the Great Being is all too 
apparent. In all my years of business experience I have yet to see anyone 
who really wanted to do business with an executive through a secretary. 
Where the procedure is absolutely necessary in order to conserve a busy 
person's strength and time, the utmost discretion must be observed by his 
go-betweens, from the switchboard operator to the executive's secretary. 
And it is a business axiom that the bigger the executive, the more approach- 


able he is. I have always found it much easier to deal with the heads of 
corporations than with third assistant vice-presidents. 

may i ask who's calling? If either the switchboard operator or an executive's 
secretary is assigned to the job of keeping unwanted calls from him, we hear 
the phrase, "May I ask who's calling?" Now this really means, "If you're 
important, I'll locate him." If your name is unknown to the board or to the 
secretary, you will probably then be told, "He isn't in, just now," which you 
probably suspect, and rightly, is not so. 

If this sort of thing must be done, let the explanation come first, "Mr. 
Brown is in this morning but he is in a meeting and I have been asked not 
to disturb him. I can give him your message when he comes out, if that will 
help, or if your call is in the nature of an emergency, I can put you through 
to him." Not even the most avid charity collector will insist on speaking to a 
man under those circumstances, and you have made someone feel he is 
important enough to be courteously treated no matter who he is. 

The minute an executive gets too "important" to see people he is in danger 
of losing touch with the realities of the business world. He makes enemies of 
big and little people when he might just as well have been making friends. 
It is an even greater temptation for a woman who has risen to the top to 
put herself in an ivory tower, because power for her is a relatively new 
experience. For that reason, the gracious, relaxed woman executive who finds 
time to see people and to talk to them earns respect for her ability to get 
along in a tough, competitive world. No one really likes the tense, terribly 
important woman, no matter how talented, and it is only human nature for 
those she has sloughed off so rudely to rejoice if she falls by the wayside in 
the scramble to the top. 


Men or women in offices, whether as business principals or not, should dis- 
courage members of their families from using the office facilities in any way. 
Even when staff members or other executives seem polite enough when rel- 
atives of their associates come in to use the office because of its convenience 
on trips to town, the interruption is often resented. If secretaries, book- 
keepers, or the office boy are enlisted in any way in the service of such 
outsiders, they should be compensated for their trouble, and they should 
never be taken from their appointed tasks for such errands or favors with- 
out the consent of their immediate superior. 


From the employer's standpoint it is rarely essential except perhaps in a 
small community for him and his wife to pay serious social attention to the 
families of junior executives. Business luncheons, an occasional drink, per- 
haps, with a younger man, or a few rounds of golf often suffice. Executives 



who are too close socially often work less well, rather than better, together, 
for they lose their objectivity or at least feel they should repress it. 

It is a good thing in business to be able to speak out fair and valuable 
criticism without thought of close friendship. Staff promotions, too, are better 
handled when the owners are on relatively formal terms with all employees 
rather than intimate with a chosen few. To paraphrase Ben Franklin, "Love 
your business associates but don't pull down your hedge." 


Resignations from business firms are usually given in person but even then 
are frequently followed, for the sake of the record, by a brief, polite note 
of resignation, stating the cause of the resignation only if it in no way 
reflects on the firm. Such a letter is always pleasant, even if the parting has 
been stormy. 

June 1, 1952 
Mr. Abel Cressman 
Premier Products Ltd., 
99 Lake Street 
Green Bay, Wisconsin 

Dear Mr. Cressman, 

It is with great regret that I must tender my resignation as vice-president 
after so many year* with Premier. As you know, I have long wanted to 
locate in New York and an excellent opportunity to do so has presented 

I am leaving, as you know, with the warmest regard for you and my 
fellow officers. I hope to renew the bond whenever I pass through Wisconsin, 
which may be frequendy, as my new duties call for considerable travel. 


Robert Murray 




Too many men use little or no sense in the sending of flowers. Confused, 
they buy something expensive and therefore, they believe, impressive, but 


it may be quite unsuittu to the occasion or to the costume the girl is wear- 
ing. A corsage of purple orchids looks foolish at a football game, whereas a 
shaggy chrysanthemum, a bunch of violets, or orange calendula, or even a 
charmingly arranged spray of bittersweet would be in tune with her sport 
coat, lap rug, and stadium boots. 

A woman is much more impressed when her escort makes an effort to 
find out what kind of flowers she would prefer to wear than if he just 
leaves it up to the florist. 

If a man can't determine for himself whether a girl is the orchid or gar- 
denia type and can't bring himself to ask her what she plans to wear, he is 
safe in sending white flowers lilies of the valley, gardenias, chrysanthemums 
(for daytime wear), rosebuds (but they are perishable for an evening of 
dancing), carnations in a tight little round bouquet. But he should be care- 
ful not to have so many flowers in the corsage that a delicate gown will be 
pulled out of place by the weight of it. And for a short girl, never, unil?r 
any circumstances, should a corsage of more than one or two orchids be sent. 
A girl with taste and a taste for orchids would prefer one little green, 
yellow, or white spray orchid to half a dozen ostentatious purple ones. But, 
orchids or cornflowers, corsages should be free of ribbon trimming, and 
rose corsages should not have any greenery but their own as background. 

Flowers are worn various ways with evening clothes. (If they are to be 
worn on the shoulder for dancing, the right shoulder keeps them fresh 
longer. ) A girl with braids or a chignon might prefer a red or pink camellia 
or a single gardenia for her hair rather than a corsage. A girl under five 
feet five might prefer a small arrangement to be worn on her back decol- 
letage rather than one to be crushed at the waist or on the shoulder during 
dancing or a tiny nosegay to pin to her gloves or bag. Tall girls can stand 
the big impressive corsages men love to buy, but little girls often abhor them. 

Flowers should be arranged in corsages so that they will be worn the way 
they grow, with the heads up. They should be sent with several florist's pins 
so they can be anchored firmly in place. 

Bouquets of flowers should always be sent with some thought of where 
and how they will be arranged. Several dozen towering dahlias, chrysan- 
themums, or gladioli, sans container, will not always be welcome in a hotel 
room, in the compartment of a train, or aboard ship in anything less than 
a suite. A potted plant is impractical for a transient. Flowers corsages or 
arm bouquets sent to trains and planes are usually just a burden to the 

It is a very nice thing, however, to send flowers for decoration to a girl 
who is giving a party. I once knew a charming gentleman with imagination 
enough to do that. He filled my apartment with flowers the afternoon I was 
giving a large cocktail party and sent along his Filipino butler, too, to 
help out. 

A man who is laying siege to a girl's heart does well not to systematize 
his flower-sending. I knew one man who could be counted on to send two 



dozen long-stemmed red roses every Saturday, rain or shine. And another 
who might send a gay red geranium in a simple clay pot or turn up with a 
single gardenia in a twist of green waxed paper or a new recording or some 
fresh catnip for the kitten one never knew. Any woman could tell in a 
minute which was the more interesting man. 


If one is meeting a lady at an appointed place, lateness of five to ten 
minutes is acceptable, but it is always better manners to be there slightly 
before a guest's arrival. Greater lateness than this can be acutely embar- 
rassing to a lady, and if some emergency has arisen an explanatory message 
should be sent, if possible. 


If he is seated or standing near her in a social group, a man leans over and 
holds a light to a woman's cigarette, if she has made the gesture of taking 
one herself. A thoughtful man, though he be a non-smoker, carries matches 
for this purpose or even a lighter. One very correct man-about-town I know 
carries both lighter and cigarette case, although he never smokes himself. 

If a man wishes a cigarette himself, he must first offer one to the ladies 
in his immediate proximity, or at least to the one to whom he is talking. If 
she doesn't smoke, and he remembers the fact, he needn't make the offer, 
but if she says, "Not now, thank you," he should offer her a cigarette each 
time he takes one himself. A man or woman refusing a cigarette should never 
make a speech about it, although anyone may say, simply, "Thank you, I 
don't smoke." 


A handshake is as much a part of personality as the way we walk, and al- 
though we may modify and improve a poor handshake if someone calls our 
attention to it, it will still usually be just like us, assured or timid, warm or 

Bad handshakes include the bone crusher the grip that makes the other 
person, especially a woman wearing rings, wince. Or a limp, damp hand- 
shake that seems to say, "I am not really happy to meet you at all!" Or it 
may be the kind of straight-arm shake that seems to hold the other person 
off, or the octopus grip that draws you inexorably toward the shaker, who 
never seems to want to let go. Then there's the pump handle, or country 
bumpkin shake, and the very Continental style reserved for women which, 
though not a hand kiss exactly, is cozy and overlong, ending in an intimate 
little squeeze. 

The good handshake is elbow level, firm and brief. A man does not offer 
to shake hands with a woman unless she makes the move first. Outdoors, it 
is no longer necessary for him to keep her waiting awkwardly while he re- 


moves his glove, nor need he apologize for taking her hand with his glove on. 
Whether he is shaking the hand of a man or a woman, the shaker must look 
the person he is greeting firmly in the eye and, at least, look pleasant, if he 
doesn't actually smile. 


In this country hand kissing is an intimate rather than a social custom. But 
an American man encountering a European married woman who extends 
her hand to be kissed will certainly feel foolish if he doesn't know the 
technique. He should take her fingers lightly in his, bow slightly over her 
hand (not lift it to his level), and touch his lips to the back of it, not really 
implant a kiss. It is a great breach of etiquette to kiss the palm of the hand, 
no matter what certain ill-bred foreigners do in taking hand-kissing liberties 
here for which they would be ostracized at home all because we don't know 
the rules. It is not correct to kiss the hand of an unmarried woman unless 
she is very definitely "of a certain age." In France, however, the hand of 
any woman over the age of fifteen may be kissed. It is plain silly for an 
American man in our own social circles to affect hand kissing. On the other 
hand, he should not stiffly insist on shaking hands in circles where hand 
kissing is usual whether here or abroad. 


A man's hat should sit more or less squarely on his head, not be pushed 
toward the back or tipped too jauntily to the side. It should never distort 
the natural position of his ears. 

In the corridors and elevators of public buildings a man may keep his 
hat on his head. In crowded public elevators he is more considerate to keep 
his hat on, as holding it in front of him will require more space. If he 
approaches an information desk where a woman is sitting, it is polite of him 
to touch his hat when asking directions, though he need not remove it until 
he has actually entered an office. The same gesture that is, of touching his 
hat but not removing it is expected of him if he accidentally jostles a woman 
in some crowded place. He touches the crown of a soft hat or the brim of a 
stiff one, such as a derby or a sailor, but he does not actually lift the hat 
off his head for such encounters. The schoolboy yanking of the brim of a 
fedora, instead of gracefully touching the crown as if to lift the hat, has a 
certain servility about it and should be avoided. A man may well, however, 
greet another man with a casual salute in which the side of the hand touches, 
or nearly touches the brim. 

In greeting a woman friend in the street or in some public place, once 
she has bowed first, a man actually lifts his hat from his head, turning his 
head slightly toward the woman and smiling, if he wishes, but not stopping 
unless she stops first. He must certainly not stop dead in his tracks and 
stare after her. If they do stop and talk, he should guide his companion out 



of the way of traffic after shaking hands if she has made the first gesture 
to do so. He may return his hat to his head without apology if they are in 
the open and the weather is bad, but he must not smoke. 


A man touches his hat but does not look more than briefly at a woman to 
whom he gives up his seat. He then stands as far away from her as possible 
and does not look in her direction. It is certainly not expected that a tired 
businessman relinquish his seat in a crowded conveyance to any woman 
who happens to strap-hang over him (but let his conscience be his guide). 
But decency dictates that he give it up to a tired mother with a young child 
or a baby in her arms, to a pregnant woman, or to an old or crippled one 
or to an old or disabled man. The relaxing of the rules has led to too many 
men jumping up for pretty girls who can well stand on their own two feet, 
while women who obviously need seats are left standing. Needless to say, no 
boy or girl should occupy an unreserved seat on a public conveyance when 
older women or women with babies in their arms are standing. A boy 
touches the brim of his hat and moves away from the person, man or woman, 
to whom he gave his seat. The person to whom the seat has been given 
says, "Thank you," but never opens a conversation with his or her benefactor. 
If a man gives up his seat to a woman accompanied by another man, both 
men should touch their hats without actually removing them. 

alighting from conveyances Men sometimes mistakenly allow the women 
they are accompanying to go first when alighting from various conveyances. 
This is incorrect as the man should go first in order to assist the woman to 
alight. Strangers, however, have no responsibility in the matter, letting 
women alight as best they can, unless it is obvious some difficulty is involved. 
A man may help a woman with baggage or a small child if no driver or 
conductor is on hand to do so, but he must be very casual in such offers of 
assistance, open no conversations, and, once he has helped, not seek to pro- 
long the contact unnecessarily. 

summoning or sharing taxis If his time allows for the courtesy, a man wait- 
ing for a taxi permits a woman waiting in the same place to take the first to 
stop, but he never offers or asks to share it unless, of course, he has some 
acquaintance with the woman and they are going in the same direction. If 
his acquaintance is very slight and the woman is perfectly willing to share 
the cab (when there is obvious difficulty in getting one), each pays his por- 
tion of the fare, with the one getting out first paying the fare up to that point 
and leaving the usual tip. Under the circumstances, conversation is not ex- 
pected, and it is never opened by the man. 

If her escort summons a cab for a woman whom he is unable to accom- 
pany to her destination, he asks the driver what the approximate fare will 
be and pays him in advance, including the tip. He does not thrust the cab 
fare at the woman. If the appointment was a business rather than social one, 


he has no such responsibility, but, on the other hand, if the woman wants 
a cab, she should ask him to summon one and she should pay her own fare. 
A man should never ride part way with a woman in a taxi, whether they 
have been on a social or business appointment, and leave her with the whole 
fare, if he alights first. If he has ridden in the cab at all, he should be willing 
and able to pay the entire fare. For a man to put a woman into a cab she has 
not requested with the assumption that she has enough money with her to 
pay for it is to place her, perhaps, in an embarrassing position. 


A man's bow, a slight, graceful inclination of his body from the waist up, 
is the grown-up version of the boy's dancing class hand-on-heart one. He 
must not merely duck his head or, worse, pull in his chin in greeting, like a 
turtle, or give it a backward jerk, like a wet dog. He must modify to modern 
usage the courtly, sweeping bow of the knight-errant, and the only way he 
can master it is to practice it in front of a mirror until he knows how he 
looks. His bow must then become as much a part of him as his skin and 
should be so geared as to be suitable for men and women alike. It should 
be a democratic bow, as gracious to the little girl down the street as to the 
British Ambassador. 

You must return any bow directed to you, whether or not you know the 
person bowing, or whether or not you have a friendly feeling toward the 
bower. Sometimes a person bows under the assumption that he knows you 
and such a bow you must return, though if you are certain a mistake has 
been made you do not stop, if you can pretend you haven't seen the other 
person hesitate, in order to save him or her embarrassment. You never "cut" 
another individual who greets you publicly, no matter how much you may 
wish to do so. There are other ways of protecting yourself from unwanted 
acquaintance without doing that. 

It is accepted that a woman bows first, but in this crowded world, today, 
a woman usually prefers to have the man indicate by his expression that he 
expects her to bow if she doesn't at the moment recall him perhaps not in 
that place or under those circumstances. This is particularly true in the 
business and professional field, where it is hard to distinguish those we have 
met or had introduced to us from those we merely recognize because we 
see them so often in the places we frequent. A suburbanite may not in- 
stantly recognize a neighbor if she runs into him on a city bus and may feel 
very embarrassed later because she has failed to bow after he has looked 
directly at her but without showing he knows her. 


In America it is cusomary for a man to walk on the curb side when accom- 
panying a lady on the street, but the rule is not so hard and fast as it used 
to be. In Europe the man walks on the woman's left, which may, of course, 



be the inside. When a man is accompanying two ladies he may walk between 
them or, conservatively, on the outside, moving to the center position to 
assist both across the street. He does not offer his arm to a lady, except to 
an elderly or infirm one, in the daytime, although he does do so at night or 
in bad weather. He offers his arm to assist her across the street but does 
not propel her by the elbow. The only time he does touch her elbow is 
when he is helping her up into a conveyance. If he precedes her for ex- 
ample, down a train step he offers her his hand to steady her descent. He 
may never take her arm. 

kissing in public The Victorian gentleman shook hands gravely with his wife 
and family if he met them in a public place. But now, if it is usual for us to 
kiss our relatives or close friends, we do so, in greeting and farewell, in pub- 
lic or not, so long as the gesture is sufficiently brief so as not to attract the 
attention of passers-by. The senseless public kissing when women meet, par- 
ticularly those who see each other frequently, should be discouraged. From 
the way they go about it, it is obvious each is afraid of getting lipstick 
smeared on her careful make-up or having her hat knocked awry. But if you 
feel like kissing out of real affection and pleasure at seeing someone, go 
ahead, so long as you avoid too public a display of your emotions. Even boys 
and girls who have no romantic attachment for one another sometimes kiss 
in public, on occasion, without anyone being embarrassed by their spon- 
taneity. It isn't the kiss, it's the too obvious enjoyment or prolongation of it 
that should be avoided in public places. Love-making should be a private 
pursuit. Of course, if a man does greet a woman in public with a kiss, he 
must remove his hat entirely. 

making apologies In disturbing anyone by passing in front of him or her if 
there is no other course say, "Please excuse me," or "I beg your pardon," or 
"I'm sorry," not the curt, imperative, "Excuse me," "Pardon," or "Sorry." 
Where possible, ask permission to pass first as in a theater row don't barge 
past people or over their feet without first giving them a chance to make 

opening conversations A gentleman does not open conversations with women 
he encounters in public places or conveyances unless there is some sound 
reason for doing so. If a woman leaves her seat in a hotel lobby and forget? 
her fur piece, a gentleman picks it up and goes after her with it. As he 
catches up with her, he touches her arm lightly, hands her the forgotten 
scarf, tips his hat, and turns away immediately, as she thanks him. 

careful about names Never call out a woman's name in a public place, or in 
conversations use the names of friends, clients, or employers where they may 
be overheard by strangers. Talking in public places should always be keyed 
low, though it must never seem too intimate, either, where a woman com- 
panion is concerned. A gentleman does nothing to make a lady conspicuous 
in a public place. 



Do not 

enter a room before a lady unless it is dark and you wish to make it 
ready for her 

seat yourself while ladies are standing 

speak or bow to a lady before she has given some sign of recognition. 
(There are exceptions, of course. A man passing a very good friend on the 
street or in some public place, and being sure that she had not seen him, 
might catch up with her and place his hand lightly on her arm or, if they 
are on a first-name basis, might call "Mary" softly when within hearing, but 
never "Miss Thayer!" as no lady wishes to have her name publicly called 

smoke without asking permission of the lady you are accompanying or 
seated so near (as in a train) that the smoke might annoy her 

call any but your contemporaries or children by their first names 

keep your hat on while talking to a lady (unless asked to replace it) or 
fail to touch your hat or to lift it when necessary 

take a woman's hand, touch her face or body in the course of conversa- 
tion, nudge her or take her arm except to help her up into or out of vehicles 
or, if really necessary, across the street 

speak intimately of any girl or woman to other men 

fail to pull out a lady's chair for her or fail to serve her or to see that she 
is served first 

speak of repulsive matters at table 

criticize another's religion, belittle his race or country, or refer unneces- 
sarily to his color in his presence 

enter any place of worship without removing your hat (if its removal is 
expected) and without speaking in reverent tones 

laugh at the mistakes or misfortunes of others 

fail to give due respect to a clergyman of any faith, to a woman of any 
religious order. 



The best-dressed women I know pay very little attention to the picayune 
aspects of fashion, but they have a sound understanding of style. 

There are smart women who haven't changed the length of their skirts in 



twenty years, whose hats are always more or less the same shape although 
they vary in color and material with the seasons. Such women often wear 
their hair exactly the same way from girlhood on, wearing it short or long 
as most becomes them, despite current agitations one way or the other. 
We may envy such women. They have such a sure sense of what is good for 
them. They save time and temper assembling their wardrobes. Often they 
are considered among the best-dressed women in the world, although they 
might not make the famous list because, while they have style, they are 
superior to mere fashion. 

This sureness is, sad to state, not for all of us. Instead, we are pushed 
hither and yon by the shallow dictates of fashion, often to a degree that is 
truly wasteful and silly. While fashion, if you can afford it, is fun, it is no 
fun to feel you must discard an expensive dress you have worn only a few 
times because it is no longer "high style." Unless you can really afford it, or 
because of your position must afford it, it is better to avoid all the expensive 
aspects of radically new fashion ideas until they have been sifted enough for 
the sound ones to emerge and have a fair existence. 

The basic wardrobe has a theme which often carries through from year 
o year. If you have one winter cloth coat you must consider its color as 
your guide for all the seasons you wear it. The same is true of the accessories 
you bought for it. Such long-range planning means that you can buy better 
quality, for the investment is to be spread over more than one season, as it 
must be if you are an average woman not engaged in the fashion business 
which lives on quick changes. 


colors The woman who has no basic color scheme in her wardrobe must have 
considerable money in order to be well-dressed. She will need many more 
accessories than the woman who plans each season's clothes around what is 
still good and usable in her existing wardrobe, who has accepted the idea 
that there are certain basic colors becoming to her and to which she should 
adhere if she wishes to dress well on a controlled dress expenditure. 

Basic colors are black, blue, brown (with all its variations), and gray, 
possibly green and wine. On the first four a good wardrobe can be built, 
allowing for much variety (although brown, itself, is difficult for formal 
clothes; the beige tones are better). The last two, as basic colors, are more 
limiting, except for a season or two. This doesn't mean that you shouldn't 
buy a plum or wine suit or a green one, but you should accept the fact that 
after two seasons such suits are readily recognizable if worn too frequently 
and that if accessories are bought to match them they will not be easily worn 
with other colors. 

It is the interchangeability of accessories that makes for interesting variety 
in the wardrobe, not a large number of dresses and suits. Even extravagantly 

well-dressed women follow the basic plan, sometimes never varying the 
basic color from season to season. 

As a young girl's taste in clothes develops, she will find that she turns 
again and again to certain accent colors because they make her prettier or 
happier. Eventually she is guided almost unconsciously to these colors, and 
variations of them, in choosing, say, a print dress or flowers for her spring 
hat. She will have decided early which of the basic colors go best with the 
accent colors she likes to wear, and she will buy her shoes, bags, belts, 
coats, and hats in basic colors that will complement or match anything she 
is likely to buy. 

coats For summer wear, a loose-fitting white or natural camel's hair coat is a 
basic that will have years of use if it is bought in a classic style. A black 
evening wrap is a sound conservative choice, but it is surprising how well 
one in flame red will go with almost anything a blonde or brunette is likely 
to wear in the evening if she doesn't go out too much, and especially if she 
has a dressy fur coat for a change-over. 

If only one fur coat or jacket is possible on your budget, let it be a dress 
coat preferably three-quarter- or full-length, with a shawl or roll collar. 
Avoid the high-fashion models. Mink in good quality is a long-term invest- 
ment, and caracul, Persian lamb, the new muskrats in mink tones, seal, 
sheared beaver, and skunk (for a jacket) are among the hardier furs that 
should have a life of at least five years. When you consider that a good cloth 
coat is expensive and more likely to show wear or go out of fashion in less 
time than this, a fur coat is often a better buy. You consider its cost as 
amortized over five years. 

If you live in a cold climate and in the country, a tough fur sport coat is 
often a better long-term investment than even the heaviest cloth coat suit- 
able for bad weather the upkeep is small and it looks warm. Among the 
best for the purpose are mouton (processed lamb), lambskin, the new 
sheared raccoon, leopard, or leopard cat (suitable for town, too). Almost a 
uniform for both men and women in smart country places is the trim, wind- 
proof, lambskin- or pile-lined belted coat of gabardine in basic tones. A 
well-tailored fabric raincoat makes a good extra topcoat between seasons. 

If your budget is limited, beware the spring coat. It is often too high- 
styled and relatively too expensive for the use you will get from it. If your 
climate calls for some slight protection in early spring, a fur piece or little 
cape or jacket will have a much longer life and be usable day and evening. 
A classic camel's hair or a good simple, tailored coat and a dual-duty rain- 
coat will be of use spring, summer, and fall for many seasons. 

Hats If you are a country dweller your need for hats is usually limited. Instead, 
you need scarves, colorful bandannas, berets, a hunting cap for your belted 
sport coat, a duck snap brim, if you're the type, and a good dress hat or two 
each season that will carry you smartly into town on your occasional sorties 
into the more sophisticated world of clothes. In winter a becoming fur hat, 



well-made and expensive, to go with your dress coat to match it or its 
scarf, collar or muff, or to contrast say, a mink hat and muff with a black 
Persian lamb or broadtail can have a long and fashionable life. The original 
investment is high, but you are sure of getting a hat that can take hard 
winter weather, stay on your head in a high wind, keep you warm, and be 
becoming for as many seasons as you will wear your coat. Its style can be 
varied from time to time by an adroit milliner, but, here, if there ever was 
one, is a basic hat. 

In the summer your basic town, dress hat will probably be a well-designed, 
simple black, navy, or white straw or one in toast or natural tones, depend- 
ing on your going-to-town wardrobe. The body should be the best you can 
buy, so that it is worth while to have the trimming changed from season to 
season. I have such a hat, whose original cost was forty dollars but which I 
have worn three summer seasons with three changes of trimming. Each 
season I have been complimented on my wonderful new hat. Considering 
the little I wear a hat in the summertime, it would be wasteful extravagance 
to have even one new, startling hat each summer (and I like them to be 
striking), so the remodeling of my basic summer hat is the answer and satis- 
fies my desire for silliness in headgear at low cost. This would never work 
with a hat cheap to begin with and it's better fashion policy to spend rela- 
tively more for a hat than for the dress with which it's worn. 

A simple, round soft felt hat (or perhaps a good crocheted wool one) that 
goes with tweeds is another basic that fills in the seasons. Such a hat should 
match or complement the topcoat with which it is to be worn rather than 
the suit. If you have several tweed suits in varying colors, all to be worn 
with a camel's hair or other neutral topcoat, you can have removable hat- 
bands or scarves that will pick up the color of the suit or accessories so that 
the same hat will serve several changes of wardrobe. 

suits Every wardrobe needs at least one good wool or tweed tailored suit. It 
should be cut on classic lines, so that with minor shortenings and lengthen- 
ings from season to season it will be good for from five to seven years or 
even longer. A cheap dressmaker suit, cut in the latest fashion and color, is 
an extravagant abomination. A good tailored suit should cost usually at least 
seventy dollars and be sufficiently conservative in color, line, and fabric that 
it is entirely unremarkable. A tailored suit is a uniform. A good dressy suit 
is a short-run extravagance, nice only if you can afford it. 

The perfect tailored suit can be worn both in town and in the country 
with a change of accessories. Shoes may be walking pumps for town (not 
high heels), and ties, brogues, moccasins, or any other solid country shoe 
out of town. Beware the effect of too light a shoe in color and heft with a 
dark tweed. The feet should be darkly shod, too, to furnish a base for the 
soundness of the suit. Two-tone shoes, especially of black and white or 
brown and white, should be avoided with tweed suits, except those in pastel 
shades, and should not be worn in town. 

Too sheer blouses look just as bad as too delicate shoes with tweeds. 


A slipover sweater or wool shirt or some heavy fabric with body is best 
with tweed for the country. In the city a simple, non-sheer tailored blouse 
with a round collar or a turnover collar on a shirt neckline is most appro- 
priate. White is usually best, or soft pastel tones, but avoid brilliant con- 
trasts which destroy the effect of the classic suit which should be, as I said, 

underthings Underwear should be simple, washable, and of excellent quality, 
devoid of imitation lace, sleazy ribbons, and machine embroidery. Hand- 
made real silk or fine nylon underwear is lovely, but machine-made under- 
wear of good quality can do nicely, too, in a well-conceived wardrobe. 

Nylon, unless it is the perforated knit variety, is hot in summer as per- 
spiration cannot evaporate beneath it readily. Sheer cotton, fresh and crisp 
every day, is the coolest during a hot spell. Fine quality silk, well-made, 
with strong, French seams, costs a lot initially but can last years with careful 
laundering. Cheap rayon, knit or woven, can look fairly good when you buy 
it, but proves expensive in that it does not keep its finish and becomes limp 
and drab after a few washings. 

The most comfortable girdle is the two-way stretch, which allows free 
body movement and which is made at least partly of lastex. Its loose weave 
permits evaporation of perspiration. Any girdle that pulls you in unnaturally, 
into some semblance of the currently fashionable figure, is likely to make 
you so uncomfortable and irritable that any striking effect your new clothes 
can make is nullified by your tense expression. If you are conscious of your 
girdle, it's the wrong one for you. The most you should ask of a girdle, any- 
how, is that it hold in your stomach somewhat, give a smooth line to your 
hips, and support your stockings. If it does more than that it is merely dis- 
placing fat pushing it from one spot, say your abdomen, to another, to your 
thighs or your diaphragm. And don't think the new bulges don't show. 

Brassieres have come a long way since Aunt Nellie was an adolescent and 
they bound her flat with a straight, tight bra which eventually broke down 
her muscles and, in her otherwise attractive forties, made her droopy. For 
young people brassieres are not necessary except perhaps for active sports, 
unless support of abnormally heavy breasts is actually needed. For problem 
figures the various types of new brassieres may be carefully fitted with wire, 
but never pressing on the soft tissues. No woman need look droopy today, 
either in a dress or a bathing suit, or flat-chested either. Ready-made clothes 
fit better if the bust line is something like the ideal even if this approach to 
perfection is considerably helped along by uplifts or falsies or both. 

Dresses Here, considering to what a degree fashion plays a part from season to 
season, we can talk about line and fabric, color and suitability, rather than 
what is current at the moment. The basic rules of good grooming don't 

The first rule is to accept what you are. If you are medium height five 
feet three or so with small bones, the heavy, masculine fabrics and bulki- 



ness of line are never for you, no matter how much they are in style at the 
moment. You should dress to the lines of your body. If the line from the 
hip to your knee is relatively short, even if you have moderately long legs 
and an average waist, you will look overdressed in heavy tweeds, loosely 
cut clothes, large inverted or box pleats. Any next-to-the-body wools should 
be very light weight. Dress coats should be fitted and sport coats only 
moderately loose, or you will seem lost in bolts of material. 

Most ready-made clothes are designed for the model figure the long- 
legged, long-thigh-boned, and long-waisted type who can drape herself in 
a portiere and look chic. The little woman, or even the medium-height one 
should choose clothes which have been scaled to her proportions, or she 
should have her clothes carefully altered to suit her figure, first avoiding 
too heavy fabrics and too dramatic lines. 

On the contrary, the tall, rangy creature should avoid too fine, too closely 
fitted materials and concentrate on bulky, rough-textured fabrics, loose line, 
pleats, bold plaids and stripes, contrast in skirt and blouse, tall, even stag- 
gering hats, and those handsome, tongued brogues that make the little 
woman seem rooted to the good earth. 

A short or middling woman should strive for continuance of line. A red 
hat, a white jacket, and a navy skirt will cut her in three pieces. She can 
have the patriotic effect, if that's what she yearns for, by having jacket and 
skirt the same blue, by having a white blouse relieve the neckline, and by 
trimming her blue hat with a red cockade and carrying a not too large 
red bag. 

Large, obvious accessories such as huge bags, brightly colored gloves, 
bulky costume jewelry and bright box jackets, heavy embroidery, enormous 
hats are only for big women, preferably the big-boned ones. A slender, 
medium-height woman can get away with one of these things at a time, 
occasionally, but she should beware of the dumpy effect they can give. 


Evening clothes for small and medium women should follow the body line 
and not be of heavy, bulky, or too stiff fabrics unless the wearer is very 
slender. Chiffon, satin (not heavy slipper satin on the plump), crepe, velvet 
(for the slender), moire, taffeta are all suitable if simple in line and very 
restrained in trimming. Trains, panniers, bustles, wide sashes, bordered 
fabrics, and bouffant effects, when in style, tend to cut height and increase 
girth, as do all bold, two-or-more-color effects. The tall woman can wear 
heavier, bolder materials, unless she is heavy. In the latter case darker 
tones, lighter weight materials, smaller, but not tiny, patterns are more 

Except for the very social woman, an evening dess is a luxury worn only 
a few times during a season. If a new dinner or evening dress is velvet its 
season is very short indeed it begins to look outmoded by late December 


or January when the new Palm Beach prints make their appearance and 
it is not smartly worn after the end of February. Prints worn much before 
January first seem to be left over from the summer. But they are worn by 
smart women from January until the end of August. Print street dresses, 
especially in challis, often appear in the early fall, of course. 

The best choice for an evening dress, if it is to have real use, is crepe, 
chiffon, or cotton lace in a non-assertive color or black. It can be worn in 
any season and can be changed by various accessories a scarf, a bright 
sash, or colored elbow-or-longer evening gloves in doeskin or cotton doeskin 
or glace kid, loosely fitting and with bracelets (but never rings) worn over 
them. Such gloves are part of a costume and are not removed during the 
evening, though the hand of the glove is pushed back over the wrist when 
one eats or drinks and the gloves should be removed entirely at the dinner 
table. To be avoided, usually, are embroidered or fancily stitched gloves and 
any made of weird materials such as silver or gold tissue or, to anticipate 
wildly, fur fabric. Gloves should be background, not bull's-eye, for a costume 
except on an entertainer. 

A wise woman never discards an evening or dinner dress that's been 
becoming to her, no matter how often she's worn it around home. If she 
goes first class on an ocean liner or cruise ship she will want to dress for 
dinner most nights, and a well-chosen evening dress five years old can look 
brand new to people who have never seen it before. Good evening clothes 
for women approach the uniform and date very slowly. 

dinner dresses A dinner dress has short cap or long sleeves but rarely leaves 
arms and shoulders completely bare, though arms and shoulders may show 
through net, lace, or tulle. It is usually cut on body lines and except for its 
length could be a formal afternoon dress. It can be worn either with an eve- 
ning wrap or, better, with a fur coat or jacket or in summer a short, simple 
fabric jacket or fur scarf. It is worn with or without an evening hat to the 
theater, to informal dinners (where men wear dark suits or tuxedos), to res- 
taurants. It is best in dark or neutral colors beige, taupe, moleskin, amethyst, 
blue and is not necessarily evening-length, though it is longer than day- 
length. The satin dinner suit, a little longer than street-length, is good for 
town wear and a fine solution for suburbanites with no pied-d-terre in town 
who must catch the eleven-forty home after the theater. Unlike evening- 
length dinner dresses, which are not worn before six, dinner suits can appear 
from four-thirty on and are very convenient for cocktail parties that lengthen 
out into dinner and the theater. 


tennis and badminton Unless she's playing on her own court at home, a 
woman wears white for tennis or badminton to keep from distracting other 



players on adjoining courts with bright colors. She may wear shorts knee- 
length or above loosely fitted for real playing comfort. Really classic is the 
short-skirted, pleated tennis dress in white cotton pique or broadcloth, linen 
or sharkskin, knee-length or shorter, round or slightly V-necked, sleeveless 
or short-sleeved. To keep the hair and sun out of her eyes she wears a 
white duck or flannel green-lined visor or tennis cap, or just a clean, white 
linen sports handkerchief tied in a bandeau, or a simple ribbon. Shoes must 
be white, flat-heeled with rubber soles. Regular tennis shoes sneakers are 
best with white anklets, preferably light wool for comfort, but with one-inch 
leeway in the toes to allow for foot expansion during play. For badminton 
there are special shoes, which provide a little more support than sneakers. 
Hair flying loose, clanking jewelry, uncomfortable shoes or socks, shorts that 
are too tight can all ruin anyone's game. 

skiing Men and women wear the same kind of clothes. (See "What's What in 
Various Sports.") 

duckshooting (See "What's What in Various Sports," for this sport. This is no 
time for glamour, and warm underpinnings are most important.) 

golfing The classic shirtwaist dress for golf is the cotton, flannel, gabardine, or 
linen golf dress loosely cut for swing action, pleated at the waist in back, 
and fastening down the front. The neckline is that of a regular shirt, and 
the belt is usually built in. A golf dress is usually in white, pastel, or neutral 
shades and is worn with traditional golf shoes with rubber soles or cleats to 
prevent slipping. The rubber-soled saddle oxford (but only in brown and 
white) is suitable, as is any sturdy brown leather walking shoe. No heel- 
and-toe-less play shoes or aboriginal sandals, please. 

In cold weather a loose pull-over sweater worn with a shirt and com- 
fortably cut wool or flannel skirt is best. A loose tweed jacket or a wind- 
breaker may be worn on top if you choose to play when it's that cold. Brown 
leather gloves or the doeskin golf gloves with reinforced palms may be more 
comfortable than bare hands. Good English lisle hose may replace the usual 
anklets or be worn with them. Thin wool stockings are a good idea. The 
reliable, soft round felt in a neutral color or brown is helpful on a windy day. 

skating The ballerina-type costume is only for the young and shapely. For 
others good, active-length wool skirt, slacks, or ski pants are best, with a 
sweater or jacket and wool stockings (lisle stockings with wool ankle socks 
are appropriate with skirts). 

swimming Any woman less bony than a shad looks ridiculous in a bra-top 
bathing suit and one that doesn't at least partly cover her thighs. If she has 
anything even slightly resembling a rubber tire around her middle, let her 
choose a bathing suit that will cover, or better, mildly control it, as do well- 
cut lastex suits. The dressmaker suit is a boon to less than perfect figures. 


To swim is to make a very public appearance. Legs and underarms should 
be meticulously groomed, and feet should be carefully pedicured. 

yachting Your costume depends on whether you are crew or mere passenger 
and, in the latter case, the size of the boat. Best guide, as always, is what 
the hostess, if any, is wearing. On a big craft, with regular captain and 
hands, ordinary country cotton, flannel, or gabardine sport dresses are suit- 
able with rubber-soled shoes to prevent marking of the deck. A sweater or 
a sport coat, a bandanna, beret, or snap brim duck hat are advisable even 
if you start out on a hot day in a relative calm. A bathing suit and cap may 
be welcome. If the yacht is to put ashore at a club for dinner, inquire as to 
the advisability of taking a simple dinner dress and accessories. There may 
not be room aboard for such refinements or no one may wish to bother with 
them. On large steam yachts with cabins you take the kind of clothes you'd 
take for a cruise, good country clothes, shorts and slacks if you wear them. 
Nicely tailored gray flannel slacks or a gray flannel skirt with a jersey and 
a jacket or blazer are comfortable and appropriate daytime wear. On an 
elaborate ship, ports of call and duration of the voyage determine your 
wardrobe. Inquire what others are taking. Any ship-side wardrobe should 
be reduced to an absolute, functional minimum, be of materials that won't 
need constant attention and stow away in limited space, if necessary. 

riding In the real country, favorite costume for the ever-growing young is blue 
jeans and a plaid shirt or pull-over sweater, with moccasins. Properly, one 
wears good brown, well-fitting flat-heeled boots, that hug the calf and come, 
like men's boots, up to just below the knee, or, with jodhpurs, simple, 
English-type, undecorated brown walking shoes or regular ankle-high 
jodhpur boots with strap closing. Breeches worn with boots have a slight 
flare and should fit very comfortably. Jodhpurs should be tailor-made or 
carefully altered to fit, to look well. Fabrics for breeches and jodhpurs is 
whipcord in that pinkish beige called "pinks," or a cream or woodsy brown. 
Breeches or jodhpurs turned out in strange colors for the dude-ranch trade 
are best avoided, but color for cold weather riding can run rampant in waist- 
coats and ties, the latter always of the sport type usually in solid color wool 
or challis or, in summer, cotton. 

The riding shirt a turtle-neck sweater in neutral colors is acceptable, 
worn without a coat, if desired is tailored like a man's (try the boys' depart- 
ment for small sizes at lower cost than you'd find in riding departments). 
It is best in white cotton, linen, or light wool. Bright or patterned shirts 
should be avoided except with blue jeans. In the country women riders 
wear a soft, round felt hat in a neutral tone, devoid of any bright trimming, 
save perhaps a bird's pinfeather stuck in the band on the knot side. Ban- 
dannas are acceptable in the country, but not for park riding. If the hair is 
well anchored or cut very short, hatless riding is usual in the country. But 
flying hair or hair that might come loose during a fast gallop can cause an 



The riding jacket is always tweed, single-breasted and cut on man-tailored 
lines. Fussy, pinch-waisted jackets in any but neutral, woodsy tones are 
anathema. Good, sturdy brown leather, chamois (cotton or leather), or 
heavy string gloves are a necessity to keep the reins from cutting into the 
fingers. A good brassiere with wide, flat straps and loosely cut soft wool, 
rayon, or nylon open-leg panties that allow plenty of freedom are necessary. 
Never wear any kind of girdle or any jewelry, except a wedding ring and a 
gold safety pin for the tie or stock. 

A standard riding crop, always plain, leather covered or bamboo, is not 
a necessity, nor are spurs. Any good horse will respond to a light touch of 
the unspurred heel or a slap of the hand on his flank. Some horses shy when 
they see crop or spurs, so inquire concerning various idiosyncrasies of a 
strange horse before mounting him. Unless you are a very experienced rider, 
you may not enjoy having to hang onto the crop as well as to the reins. 

There are kinds of riding clothes for special occasions, but they are 
optional. For example, the side-saddle outfit sometimes affected for show 
riding or the Oxford gray habit worn with a stock and bowler. But even 
for show riding in the evening, the traditional, conservative tweed jacket and 
proper breeches or jacket are always correct. 

If you join a hunt club and are an experienced enough rider to enjoy the 
formal hunt, special hunting clothes in the traditional style are called for. 
But if you are just to be a guest of the hunt you certainly wouldn't invest 
in a formal hunt outfit for one occasion or so. Instead, it is understandable 
for you to ride in your usual jacket and breeches with a white, collarless 
shirt and well-tied and anchored stock, plus the hunting derby. If the Master 
of the Hunt is a great stickler for form, he may frown on your informality. 
Ask your host to determine his stand on the matter before you accept. If 
you have had no experience with jumpers, do not accept a hunting invita- 

Handsome, correct riding clothes are never fussy-feminine. They should 
be worn with a certain, restrained air in deference to their masculine char- 
acter. Never wear anything like lapel jewelry with a riding jacket, though 
a small boutonniere such as a man might wear a little bunch of bright ber- 
ries, a cornflower, a pink, or a small carnation is acceptable. Mandarin-long, 
brilliant red fingernails look peculiar, though a pinkish polish that looks 
relatively natural seems horsemanlike enough. Those femme fatale nails, by 
the way, look odd, to say the least, for any active sport and lead to the 
suspicion that the cultivator of them is more at ease on a chaise longue than 
on a horse. 

shooting Upland shooting where birds are flushed by dogs and fly in front of 
the guns at some distance from the hunters permits the wearing of other 
than neutral colors. A gay flannel shirt may be worn with khaki breeches 
laced below the knee or with regular riding pants. Comfortable leather boots, 
field boots, or those high-cut, or moderately high-cut elkhide, waterproof 
boots with leather, not rubber, soles are needed. Wool socks prevent blisters, 


and cautious people wear a thinner pair inside heavy ones. In snake country, 
for example in Florida and Georgia, boots should always come just below 
the knee. (You learn to look down each time before taking a step, too.) 

For clay pigeon shoots, dove shoots, and turkey drives (in open country, 
not in the Florida or Georgia woods) an English wool or tweed walking skirt 
with jacket or loose pull-over sweater (over a collared round-necked white 
blouse) is often worn instead of breeches. 

If a hat is needed, it is, again, the trusty neutral soft, unbound felt with 
a dull-colored ribbon. Hair should be very neat, in a net if it is likely to 
fly loose. 

In thickly wooded country briar-resistant trousers are advisable and 
white duck jackets are sometimes worn, or white duck visored caps, for 
visibility. Otherwise, for safety, you can tie a clean, white, man's handker- 
chief around the left, or shooting, arm. 

For big game hunting deer and moose neutral-toned, heavy-duty 
breeches, boots, and hunting jacket are necessary with either a red hunting 
cap or a red patch on the back of the jacket or a red handkerchief tied 
around the shooting arm. White must not be worn, as a flash of white 
might be mistaken by another hunter for the white of a deer's tail. 



A practical beauty routine A woman is well-groomed when she looks fresh, 
neat, clean, and well-pressed. This means a daily, and often twice daily, 
shower or bath, fresh underwear and stockings daily or twice daily, com- 
petent home or professional hairdressing at least once a week, well-mani- 
cured hands, no chipped nail polish, runless, wrinkleless stockings, and 
shined shoes at all times, even for housework. 

Beauty care must be on a regular schedule, not just when social activities 
are planned. Excess hair must be kept invisible by one method or another 
at all times. Feet, pedicured and with toenails painted or not, must be kept 
soft and attractive, knees and elbows must receive their regular attention 
with emollients, and eyebrows be kept neat, though not obviously plucked. 
A good deodorant must be used daily or on recommended schedule. 

Hair must be brushed morning and night with a clean, firm brush and 
combed with a good comb that, like the brush, is frequently cleaned in 



cold water and ammonia, then warm suds. A dirty comb or brush is as 
repellent as a bath towel used beyond its initial freshness. 

A well-groomed woman is carefully girdled, if necessary, from the time 
she gets up until she undresses for the night. If she has heavy work to do 
she protects her hands with rubber gloves or work gloves and uses hand 
cream. For dusty work she covers her hair with a clean kerchief and she 
wears clean aprons or smocks to protect her clothes. Her handkerchief is 
always clean and when not in use, safely on her not left on chairs or tables 
around the house or office. 

The fastidious woman understands how much the appearance of her 
hair has to do with that of her whole person. If her hair is fine and hard to 
manage she arranges it many times a day, if necessary, to preserve the 
required neat look. She has it styled in the way that stays neat and 
attractive longest, and she never combs her hair or does her nails in public. 


It is far better to wear a simple, starched house dress, a clean one daily, if 
you must do housework, than to wear sweaters and skirts or wool or other 
dresses that must be dry-cleaned, unless you make up your mind to send 
them to the cleaners the minute the first spot appears ( and if you are caring 
for young children, this may mean fresh outer clothes daily, an expensive 
proposition). There are now dark, winter cottons that can be styled like 
wool clothes, which are perfect for housewoik, topped, if necessary, with 
a sweater or wool jacket. You can make them in a becoming style, or have 
them made, with matching bibless aprons and feel like a well-dressed "lady 
of the house," no matter what dirty work you're up to. 


Every woman should change for dinner, if only into a clean house dress. 
Dinner is the high point of the day, the forerunner it is to be hoped of a 
free evening. Every little girl should be clean and in fresh clothes, even if 
they are just clean pajamas and bathrobe for nursery supper, every night, 
so that the idea of changing for dinner is inculcated at the earliest possible 
time. Fresh clothes and make-up, even if you are to be alone with the 
children for a simple meal, are psychologically sound and bring a needed 
change in the day's pace. Fresh grooming for evening is one of the criteria 
of gentility. 


Our idea of what's permissible in make-up has undergone a drastic change 
in recent years. It is rare to see a woman over eighteen without lipstick and 

Lipstick should follow the natural lines of the mouth. Colored nail polish 


is more usual than not, although it is attractive to see well-groomed, healthy 
nails that have merely been burled. 

Mascara, once used only at night by some women, is frequently worn 
day and night and in a variety of colors, from blue and green to various 
shades of brown or black. Heavy black mascara is often hard-looking, but the 
others, properly applied (to the upper lashes only in the daytime) and of 
the non-smear variety, can help the appearance very much, especially that 
of a person with pale lashes. Eyebrows, if they need darkening, should be 
lightly rubbed with an eyebrow pencil the reverse of the hair growth, then 
brushed back into place, never drawn on. The eyebrow pencil can be used 
adroitly with an upward stroke, especially at night, at the far corners of 
the eyes to give them depth and to elongate them, but the line should be 
blurred with the finger tips. 

Rouge, when used (and the older we grow the older it makes us look), 
is often best not on the cheeks. It can bring a glow to some faces if it is 
lightly applied above the eyelid, shading toward the temples. A little on the 
vertical planes of the nose bridge, on the chin or the ear lobes can play nice 
tricks, but experiment is needed. 

Eye shadow is perilous stuff. It must be applied with a light touch, if at 
all. If nature has darkened your lids naturally, that is a cue, often, that you 
can wear eye shadow. If your lids are small and light, shadow often makes 
you look dead tired. You'll be better off with mascara. 

It is often more youthful to leave all but the nose unpowdered and to 
allow a little shine on your face. Pancake make-up, or a good powder base, 
helps at night to keep make-up fresh, but daylight hours too often disclose 
its masklike properties. 

A pocket-sized magnifying make-up mirror is a requisite for every woman. 
It should be consulted regularly. 


excess hair Unwanted hair, that which is not routinely removed after the 
bath, as necessary, should be professionally removed as soon as it appears 
or, if fine and downy, bleached. Even quite young girls often have excess 
facial hair which causes them embarrassment, yet it is simple and relatively 
painless to have it removed by electrolysis. Unattractive hair lines or too 
heavy eyebrows can be permanently corrected the same way. The operator 
should be recommended by the family doctor, as inexpert, careless work 
can cause infection and scarring. 

Hair removal over large areas, such as the legs and thighs, is lengthy 
and expensive, but, where necessary, certainly feasible and often advisable. 
It should never be tweezed, especially around the mouth or nose, not only 
because tweezing injures the roots and may make permanent removal by 
electrolysis impossible, but because there is often the possibility of very 
serious infection. 



moles and warts Brown moles, unless they begin to grow or are subject to 
constant irritation, are harmless and need be removed only if they really 
constitute a blemish. Often they are considered natural beauty spots. But 
when they are unattractively placed or in danger of irritation they should 
be removed by a competent doctor, not by a beauty operator. The com- 
monest method, which is quick and painless, is for the doctor to cauterize 
them with an electric cautery after first anesthetizing them. After one or 
more treatments, they turn black and drop off, leaving, usually, an indefin- 
able scar. Hairy moles should never be tweezed, though the hairs around 
them may be carefully cut off, as needed. 

The horny warts that are so familiar on children's hands sometimes appear 
on those of adults, along with the difficult-to-treat palmar or plantar warts 
on hands or, in the latter case, the soles of the feet. These warts often 
disappear without treatment, but sometimes respond to X ray or acid, 
professionally administered, as does the common child's wart. 

BmTHMARKS, malocclusion, needs for plastic surgery There are various 
kinds of birthmarks, some not in the least disfiguring, and all usually subject 
to modification by make-up or correction by X ray or plastic surgery. Birth- 
marked infants now usually receive C0 2 (dry ice) treatments which elimi 
nate or greatly reduce the newly made marks. 

Many a girl or even older woman can improve her appearance by having 
protruding or crooked teeth corrected by orthodonture. Although this is an 
expensive and lengthy proposition taking usually two years in most cases- 
it often pays for itself in lessening decay and delaying of gum troubles, not 
to mention the increased self-confidence resulting from often dramatically 
improved appearance. 

Plastic surgery has made fantastic strides as a result of two world wars. 
Its cosmetic uses are really wonderful. It corrects ugly, pendulous breasts, 
usually during fairly brief hospitalization, it removes the dowager's dewlap 
and takes layers of fat off the flabby abdomen, all with the minimum of 
trauma, as the surgery is connected with a sound rather than sick organism. 
Truly disfiguring noses are tailored to one's face, protruding ears are fastened 
back, and harelips made whole, all to the benefit of the ego. But this delicate 
work must be done, of course, by real experts approved by one's own doctor, 
members of recognized medical and surgical societies. Most of our physical 
defects need only the correction of our point of view, however, and plastic 
surgery, dramatic as it is, is not always advisable or really needed. 


You never see a product of Victorian days sprawled in a chair. Women 
trained in the austere etiquette of that time will invariably select the 
straightest, most uncompromising-looking chair in the room and sit on it, 
spine straight, hips flush with the back of the seat, feet parallel and flat on 


the floor. It was taught that a lady never crossed her legs or sat with hei 
stomach protruding. 

Today with fewer and fewer uncompromising chairs being manufactured, 
we are more or less forced to lounge as we sit. Sofas the modern ones are 
often so deep that the only way we can get back support is to boost ourselves 
onto them with our feet sticking straight out in front of us or curled as 
gracefully as possible under us. If we have short legs, we have a terrible 
time with most modern furniture. It throws us into unlovely attitudes, and 
sometimes we can't get up without help. 

On entering a room, try to select a chair or sofa that suits your height 
and figure. If you are overweight and short you will not look your best on 
a high spindly chair that leaves your feet dangling and causes you to bulge 
over the seat. If you get down into one of those modern bucket seats you 
will need a strong arm to get you out again. If you sit on a sofa with a wide 
seat you must perch on the edge which makes both yourself and others 
uncomfortable or more or less sink back into the depths until you can be 
helped up again. Those low, deep-seated chairs, if they do not have bucket 
seats, are good for you but bad for a long-legged woman, who has no alterna- 
tive but to stick her feet straight out in front of her or else sit jackknife 

In sitting, be sure to look at the chair before bending your knees. Before 
your knees actually bend, the back of your leg should actually come in 
contact with the chair. When you have received this indication of the 
chair's position, you should bend your knees, lean forward slightly and 
go gently into the chair, maintaining careful contact with the floor. This way, 
if the chair is deep or tippy, you won't be thrown backward or forward. 

The deep, wide sofa, modern style, is supposed to accommodate your 
entire thighs and all or part of your legs. The position of the cushions is an 
indication of where your spine is supposed to be. But if you are not supple, 
avoid such Turkish traps. If you do sit on them, don't flop, then squirm back 
into position. Instead, seat yourself on the edge, then, placing your hands 
on the sofa, ease yourself back with a lifting motion. A woman is more 
comfortable on such articles of furniture if she has on an evening-length 
skirt, slacks, or lounging pajamas. But sometimes it is possible to rearrange 
the pillows on such a couch so that there is less width and it can be used 
comfortably by someone who does not wish to lounge. 

Crossing the legs is no longer considered masculine in women, but there 
are good reasons to avoid it is much as possible. First, unless one has slender 
legs, it creates unattractive bulges on the leg and thigh crossed over. Sec- 
ondly, it is said to encourage varicose veins by interfering with circulation. 
So if you do cross your legs habitually, change the cross from left to right 
and from right to left at frequent intervals. It is much more graceful to sit, 
model-style, with the toe of one foot drawn up to the instep of the other and 
with the knees close together, if one wishes to vary the position of the feet. 
Further, crossing the legs is informal. It should not be done at the dinner 



table, in church, or at any formal occasion or when a girl is trying to make 
a businesslike impression in applying for a job. 

When the legs are crossed, attention should not be called to the fact by 
bouncing the free foot. And skirts should be full enough and long enough 
not to make the position a burlesque on how a lady should look seated. 


In the country, when hats are worn at all by women, they may be removed 
with coats if desired. It is usual at house christenings, weddings, and 
funerals to treat the house, for the occasion, as if it were a house of worship 
and for women to keep their hats on. This, however, is not technically 
necessary, either for guests or for the woman of the household. At gardeu 
parties or garden weddings it is purely a matter of preference whether a 
woman, who has been shown to a cloak room first, decides to remove her 
hat or leave it on as an important part of her costume. 

In town at formal receptions, teas, luncheons, and meetings women guests 
usually keep hats on if they have worn them. However, except perhaps at 
the home of an elderly and very conservative woman, on such an occasion 
the lack of a hat would not be in any way remarked these days. In fact, 
even at formal luncheons the modern hostess often suggests that guests 
leave their hats with their coats, if they wish. Certainly if most of the 
women at such an affair are hatless, one or two women who cling to the 
older convention in the matter will seem inelastic, to say the least. 

Hats worn with dinner suits or dinner dresses are intended to remain 
in place throughout the evening and are usually tiny enough not to obstruct 
the view of those behind one in the theater. If there is any doubt about 
a hat obscuring someone's view at the theater, the movies, or a meeting, 
a woman should remove it promptly. If she's asked to remove it by someone 
having difficulty seeing beyond her, she should do it immediately with 
murmured apologies. 

A woman's manners in the business world 

However competent she may be in business no woman should conduct 
herself in any but a dignified feminine manner. The brusque, unwomanly 
woman is anything but attractive in or out of business. And, equally, of 
course, the overly-feminine, coy female is just as uncomfortable to have 

One time after I had addressed a directors' meeting the chairman, seeking 
to be complimentary, said, "We enjoy having her with us. She's just like 
one of the men." I was not complimented and replied, pleasantly, I hope, 
"Mr. X, I may be able to meet with you on your own ground professionally, 
but I am not like one of your own men and have no desire to be." He got 
the point and from that time on I had my place and the men had theirs. My 


professional standing was improved, and my femininity politely accepted. 
Every woman who refused to become 'one of the boys" in business and who 
insists she be treated as a lady in the human rather than in the drawing room 
sense does her share toward a better understanding between the sexes. 

Business leaders are quite conscious of the fact that women in business 
are also pulled in the direction of domesticity. Either they are in the mar- 
riage market, with few exceptions, or involved in the dual and difficult role 
of marriage plus a career. Today more married women than single women 
are in business. They are there to earn their livings or to help out the 
family income. And most of them have the complete management of their 
homes as well. 

The married woman with a job in and out of the home is working under 
pressure, even if she is efficient and relatively relaxed about both home and 
job. There are always the unpredictables to cope with Johnny's measles, the 
maid who leaves without notice, her husband's possible transfer to another 
city. A woman must be superlatively good at her job to give her employer 
full value while working as well as a head of a family. Her personal prob- 
lems must be kept carefully in the background, and she must necessarily 
work more efficiently on her two or more jobs than does the man by her side, 
who traditionally is always protected against personal encroachments upon 
his business or professional life. 

The woman who runs a job and a home often feels she deserves all kinds 
of special consideration from both her family and her employer. Of course 
she never can get it, because, despite the material benefits her job brings, 
her family is always resentful of mother's time away from home and her 
employer or associates are necessarily coldly objective about her ability on 
the job. "Miss Barnes didn't get that report done for Mathewson because 
her husband's home with the flu" seems an untenable excuse to someone 
paying well for Miss Barnes's supposedly undivided attention. 

It's hard to face this, but no woman can find happiness in putting career 
above her husband and family. Once she has taken on woman's natural 
responsibilities, whatever work she undertakes must be done in a way that 
deprives the family the least for some deprivation they must endure if she 
works at all. Once encumbered she must have something very special in the 
way of talent to offer an employer to make hiring her worth while, at least 
while her children are young. Everywhere we meet women who seem 
to overcome the difficulties of the dual role, but the hard truth is that more 
women with young children fail at making happy homes while working 
full time than succeed. 

With this in mind let us go on to the problems of women in business. 

Secretarial schools send forth their fresh young graduates well equipped 
with elementary rules of office etiquette. As a result the American secretary 
is usually a well-mannered, poised young woman. The girl who has not 
gone through business school, however, and who comes to a firm in a 
junior executive capacity often has much to learn. 



appearance Appearance is of primary importance, of course. Neatness and 
quietness of apparel are important. Conservative hairdressing, make-up, and 
a minimum of jewelry are equally so. Sunback dresses, evening-sheer stock- 
ings, French heels, Mandarin nails, sweaters, and overwhelming perfume 
are taboo. 

promptness Employers are paying for time on the job, so women executives, 
junior or senior, should get to their work promptly and once in the office 
start the day with a minimum of primping and coloquy in the restroom. 
Make-up repair should be in private, never at a desk, except in a private 

taking orders One of the most important things a woman in business can 
learn is to take an order and carry it out. This requires listening to the order 
without interruption, then asking any necessary questions that may clarify it. 
The woman who cultivates the ability to listen, to grasp instructions, and 
to carry them out without chatter or argument gets on in a man's world. 

smoking and eating in the office Most organizations have rules concerning 
smoking on the job and eating at desks. If smoking is permitted, women 
should smoke in such a way that it does not interfere with work output. 
A chain-smoking woman is much more likely to be criticized than is a man 
with the same habit. Candy eating or coffee drinking, when permitted at 
a desk, should be done during a work-pause, then wrappers or containers 
removed from sight. 

telephone calls Even a well-placed woman executive limits her incoming 
and outgoing telephone calls. Social chit-chat in an office annoys other 
workers and, even when indulged in by an employer, sets a poor example. 

personal letter writing and callers Personal letters should not be written 
on office time, unless they are done during lunch hours. Friends and rela- 
tives should be strongly discouraged from visiting employees or even top 
executives. When such a visit does occur it should not be made a general 
social occasion. 


A woman who achieves executive status of some kind must guard against 
being dictatorial at home as well as in the office. Men meet with their 
frustrations on the way up but not to the same degree, that is, on the 
ground of sex, as women. Therefore when a woman does arrive she tends 
to become irritatingly important. When she gives an order she wants action, 
and never mind the human element. It is very hard sometimes for a woman 
to continue to be warm and feminine and kindly once she has received 
business or professional recognition. Actually, she needs all these qualities 
more than ever if she is to keep on advancing and if her marital chances or 
relations are not to be harmed. 


The very important woman is a tempting target for a jealous male asso- 
ciate. She rubs him the wrong way, threatens his position, overrides his 
suggestions, and tramples on his pride. She forgets the feminine graces 
and cajoleries and tries to meet him man-to-man. This leads to inevitable 
defeat. If women in business would only remember that they are women 
in business they would meet so much less resistance from men. No amount of 
professional conditioning will ever overcome the very real fact of femaleness. 

attitude towakd other women It has been said many times that women 
have difficulty as executives because they treat other women business asso- 
ciates as implacable rivals, as if they were competing on a sexual rather 
than an intellectual level. This does seem to be true, that there is little real 
solidarity among women. I believe that with woman's increasing sense of 
security a more generous attitude toward women co-workers willcome too. 
At any rate, it helps to be conscious of the competitive feeling and thus 
make an effort to modify it. (See "A Man's Manners in the Business World.") 


Occasionally in business it is necessary for a woman executive to pay enter- 
tainment or other bills for men clients or to take their share of checks when 
lunching with men business associates. In all cases (for the sake of the 
man) a woman tries to avoid a public display of her financial arrangements. 
Onlookers cannot know the circumstances, and men are easily embarrassed 
by a career woman's usurpation of their traditional role. Even if she is 
lunching a junior executive, it is courteous to allow him the dignity of seem- 
ing to pay the bill. 

The arrangements for the preservation of male pride can be made in 
several ways. With an important client, whom the firm wishes to entertain 
but who would certainly not permit a woman to pay the bill, the obvious 
solution is the selection of a restaurant where the firm maintains a charge 
account for entertainment purposes. Even the tip is included in the bill, 
and the woman signs the check on the way out. She may ask the room 
waiter in advance that the check not be presented at the table but be left 
for her at the desk. When such tact is not necessary and the co-worker or 
client are on easy terms, the woman can quietly lay a bill on the table 
toward the end of the meal and say, "Settle the check for me please. Of 
course it's on my expense account." She should not actually pay the waiter, 
pick up the change, and leave the tip herself. (Any change the man gives 
her on the way out or elsewhere tells her the amount of both bill and tip 
for her expense record.) Or, if she's sure the client or co-worker can pick 
up the check and will willingly settle with her later not outside on the 
street she can say, "Let me know what this comes to when we leave. You 
are the firm's guest today." 




how to make friends in a big city Men have less trouble than women adjust- 
ing socially to big city life because, presumably, they are aggressive, while 
women are supposedly passive in such contacts. A girl living in, say, New 
York, after being brought up in a small town, can grow very lonely, waiting 
until she is asked out by the all-too-few unattached males she may meet in 
her office or elsewhere. A young man need not be even passably attractive 
to have as much social life as he wishes in such a metropolitan center. The 
competition for him, at least as an escort, is very keen, even if his prospects 
are meager and his spending money minuscule. 

The girl who can surround herself with some sort of home background 
has the best chance of a full social life in a big city. Entertainment outside 
of the home is so expensive that a girl who has a home to which a man 
may come and be entertained has a better chance than the siren who lives 
in a hotel room and must be taken out continuously to meals, movies, 
theaters and night clubs. Such a girl costs too much and is too wearing. 
And, even if she is really interested in a man, she never gets to know 
him as she should in such an artificial atmosphere. The less beauteous girl 
with a stove and fireplace of her own has the advantage. 

should a girl live alone? Living alone in a big city is for most girls who try 
it a disillusioning experience. Even if they are able to find and furnish and 
support attractive apartments all by themselves, they find that the draw- 
backs to living alone are, among other things, loneliness, inertia concerning 
household chores, and lack of at least implied protection. 

A girl with her own apartment in a city is not insured against loneliness. 
Often she tries to be out every night or to have guests to combat loneliness. 
If she does stay home alone she listens for the telephone, and if it doesn't 
ring she feels abandoned. If she takes advantage of her ability to act 
as a hostess and invites a young man home to dinner she runs the risk 
of not being able to keep the rest of the evening on the easy, pleasant basis 
she desired. Too many young men, finding themselves in a girl's bachelor 
apartment without the steadying presence of other guests, imagine that more 
than conversation is expected of them. 

teamwork The girl who has a good time in New York or other large cities is 
the girl who lives co-operatively. She finds one or more other congenial girls 
(preferably not more than two) approximately her own age, and together 
they rent a furnished or unfurnished apartment, which they run on the 
basis of their individual capabilities. 

As often as they wish, such girls cook at home, thus keeping down 
expenses and eating better meals. They have more social life with men, 
because they can freely invite attractive ones they meet to come to their 
home without fear of being misunderstood, as there is always a "roommate" 
at least in the background to dispel any mistaken ideas. And, on nights wheiv 


there are no dates or prospects of them, the household tasks can be done 
co-operatively in short order and can be relaxing rather than annoying. 
Too, by pooling their expense money such girls can usually afford a little 
outside help for heavy cleaning. 

Such living can prepare girls, who have always had everything done for 
them at home, for future homes of their own if they go about it in the 
right way. They can learn what it is to serve dinner to guests, to manage 
a budget, pay household bills, and meet regular obligations such as the 
rent. They learn, too, how to divide the labor so that no one person does 
most of it. 

choosing a roommate When a girl decides to share an apartment with another 
girl she should try to find someone from more or less the same background 
as her own, preferably a long-standing friend whose crotchets and personality 
she knows all about. They should have approximately the same income and 
be able to share the financial responsibilities of the venture on an even basis. 
If the income of one is considerably larger than that of the other, the living 
should be scaled to the lower of the two incomes so there never need be the 
feeling that one girl has more right to the place than the other. 

If possible, the apartment should have at least two rooms, with the bath 
accessible to both the living room and the bedroom. A floor plan that re- 
quires anyone entering the bath to go through the bedroom is poor for 
sharing, as the girls' social activities are not always simultaneous. A girl who 
must sit up when she's sleepy because her roommate is entertaining is not 
going to enjoy such an arrangement for long especially if she has fewer 
dates than her friend. 

finances In such a shared apartment there is usually one girl who is better 
at money matters than the other, or who has more time for these details. A 
budget must be worked out, and a part of each salary turned over each 
week to the treasurer for necessary disbursement. One girl should never 
carry the other, but all debts should be settled with alacrity if the working 
arrangement is to prosper. The most important obligation, the rent, must 
be paid promptly each month and the receipts kept if cash has been paid. 
Food bills for shared meals are evenly divided, but each girl takes care of 
her own extra entertainment costs. 

The lease for such an apartment is better taken out in the names of the 
co-operating lessees, where the landlord is willing. But where he prefers 
one signee, the other tenant or tenants should hold a brief written agreement 
on the length of their shared tenancy and the terms of it from the holder of 
the lease. It is also well to have duplicate or triplicate lists of all the belong- 
ings and effects in the apartment that are being shared, with a notation as 
to ownership, whether joint if they were bought out of pooled funds and 
what the cost was or individual. Such a businesslike view right at the 
beginning helps to keep the arrangement on an even keel, and, in the event 
one girl decides to leave for one reason or another, it makes her responsi 
bilities clear. 



Such a shared home needs house rules, too, drawn up by the participants. 
Perhaps the girls will agree to let each have one set night to have the 
apartment alone without the other or others. Maybe one night will be put 
aside as a "no visitors" night, when hair can be set, bureau drawers straight- 
ened, and the housework finished up. Certainly essential tasks must be 
assigned the cooking, the bedmaking, dusting, and cleaning, laundry, shop- 
ping, and bookkeeping, the division of the chores dependent on the amount 
of time each girl can give and her abilities. 

A little box by the telephone should remind visitors to pay for their own 
calls and encourage the girls to deposit their tolls for out-of-town calls right 
away or at least make a record of who made them. Only the base rate for 
the telephone should be equally shared by each. 

If all the rules of courtesy are followed, such living can be most con- 
genial. It can lead to a full and happy social life, with good possibility of 
marriage, even in a crowded unfriendly city where the competition for the 
eligible males is much fiercer than it would be in the small town that 
seemed to offer little in the way of career or romance. 


Suppose for some reason, perhaps her inability to find a congenial girl with 
whom to share a home, a newcomer to a large city must live in a girls' club, 
a boarding house, or a small hotel. What are her chances of having a pleasant 
social life? Unless she makes some definite and continuing effort to meet 
people, even a pretty, attractive girl may be lonely during her free hours. 

Before going to a place like New York, Washington, or Chicago to work, 
young people men and women should attempt to find someone who can 
give them social introductions in their new home. It makes much difference 
if there is someone to take a stranger in hand and see that he or she meets 
others of the same age and background. If there is at least one real home 
where such a stranger may go occasionally, it can help him find his own 
niche among new friends. 

If there is no one at all to whom one may go in a big city for advice and 
companionship outside of working hours, the next best thing is to find one 
or two groups one can join. But to become a "joiner" in the sense of map- 
ping out a continuous plan of activity in an effort to escape loneliness may 
mean that with so much to do a newcomer really enjoys nothing, gets to 
know no one well enough in her rush from club to club and classroom to 

A church with a real and youthful social life can bring sound interests, 
as the stranger is always welcome and can quickly be made to feel at home 
in familiar activities. A hobby group is a sure way to find congenial friends. 
Adult education courses keep free hours busy and productive and may 
lead to new skills and friends. A college club any group that brings some- 
thing of a former background into the new life in the city helps orientation. 


Often an out-of-towner feels a little awkward at first in a metropolis. After 
a while she will realize that a certain polish may be acquired. Anything 
that makes her feel she "doesn't belong" can usually be corrected, from a 
broad regional accent (helped by diction lessons) to ungainliness on the 
dance floor or an unsureness about clothes. The "Y's" abound with all kinds 
of self-improvement courses for people who suffer from feelings of inade- 
quacy one way or the other. Such courses are of great help, especially in 
big cities where on all sides others press for advantage. 


Once the effort to break in socially is made, the newcomer finds most big 
cities culturally stimulating and financially rewarding, as small towns can 
rarely be. A city like New York is full of people expressing or trying to 
express a wide variety of talents, talents for which there may have been 
no market at home. One needs only to make oneself a small part of the 
profession or business that appeals to find satisfaction and a feeling of 
"belonging," even in a city of seven million, plus. And once this feeling is 
achieved, the stranger is one no longer but able to realize that New York, 
especially, is made up of millions like himself who came from other places 
in the world. One may walk for miles in the city before finding a true "born 
New Yorker," and it is rare to number many among one's friends. 




In greeting people we say, "How do you do?" We do not really expect an 
answer, but it is proper to reply, "Very well, thank you," even if it is a 
blue Monday and you feel far from well. No one wants a clinical discussion 
in response to this purely rhetorical question. In fact, you may answer 
Socratically with "How do you do?" expecting, and getting, no answer. In 
farewell, say simply, "Good-by," or something you really feel, such as, "Let's 
meet soon again" or "It was so nice running into you." Don't use some current 
banality such as "Good-by now." It is obvious it is now you are saying 
"Good-by" not an hour previously nor an hour hence. Watch these cliches. 
Up to a point they can lend a little color to your conversation, but they can 



easily become second nature, so that you seem to be a person of little 
imagination, one suffering from a sad poverty of language. These innocuous 
slang expressions sound partciularly inept from a grown man or woman, 
unless one is using them quite consciously and in fun. 


Be slow to use people's first names and try to let the other person take the 
initiative. A man must never call a woman of his own circle by her first 
name unless he is asked to do so. Usually she indicates her willingness to be 
on a more familiar footing simply by calling him by his first name without 
any explanatory preliminaries but she may say, "Do call me Joan." 

If a much older man or woman calls a much younger man or woman by his 
or her first name, that does not, of course, indicate that the junior should 
return the familiarity, although if the relationship continues over many 
years it is possible that in time it will be appropriate for the younger person 
to call the older one by his or her Christian name, but even then it is best to 
be asked to do so. 


No one is ever pleased if you say, "I know your face but I just can't recall 
your name." Tactful people who aren't infallible about names work out a 
technique for coping with these bad moments. If you are warmly greeted 
by someone whose name or maybe whose face, too you can't recall, say 
something harmless such as, "Nice to see you" or "You're looking well." 
Then while looking quite attentive, let the other person do the talking until 
he or she gives a clue as to identity. Let us hope he doesn't ever say, "You 
don't remember me, do you?" for your own expression should always indi- 
cate you remember him well and favorably. 

If you have trouble remembering the names that match the faces, always 
help out the other person who is probably suffering from the same thing. 
Never say, "Do you remember me?" or "You don't know who I am, do you?" 
Instead, in greeting people you haven't seen for some time or whom you 
are meeting outside of your usual place of encounter, identify yourself 
quickly and gracefully, "How do you do, Mr. Burton. I'm Joseph Bye of 
Arbor Mills. We did a little business together last fall." Or, when a woman 
has stopped and is obviously confused as to who you are, "I'm Joseph Bye, 
Miss Fox. We see each other at the Advertising Club." It is certainly more 
modest and tactful to assume that you aren't remembered than to presume 
that you are. I well remember the effect on me when my partner at a public 
dinner sat down, turned to me, and said, simply, "My name is Hoover." 
It was Herbert. 



Sometimes I feel that understanding of what constitutes a personal question 
is innate rather than acquired. There are people who seem to have been 
born tactful and others who, no matter what they are told or how often they 
offend consciously or unconsciously, continue their stream of personal ques- 
tions to the discomfort of all those with whom they come in contact. 

We should not, for example, ask the cost of everything. If your neighbor 
wishes to volunteer certain information in the course of conversation the 
amount he paid for his house, the cost of his son's school tuition, how much 
he paid for his new lawn mower, that is his privilege, but we should not ask 
these intimate questions unless there is some very valid reason for doing so. 
If you plan to send your child to the same school, you might ask the tuition 
your neighbor pays, but even then you might embarrass him, as some private 
schools have a sliding scale based on the parent's ability to pay, the desira- 
bility of the child from a scholastic or social standpoint, etc., and if he pays 
less than the regular tuition he may well be annoyed at the question. 

Unless you have some business reason to do so, you shouldn't ask a man 
or woman the amount of insurance he or she carries, the amount of their 
mortgage or rent, the salaries of their servants. You might ask a man's age- 
though many men are less than anxious to divulge that information as they 
pass forty but you never ask that of a woman over twenty-one, except for 
official reasons. Even then, the courtesy of letting her say "over twenty-one" 
usually is accorded a woman except by the U. S. State Department, the 
various Motor Vehicles offices, and other sternly realistic representatives that 
must know all. So even though many women are frank about their ages 
sometimes aggressively so it really is no one's business, and it is, I think, a 
permissible conceit for anyone to shave off a few years if her face doesn't 
belie the amputation. But in her very late years a woman usually takes 
a belated pride in her longevity and brags that she is eighty-one or ninety 
except a great aunt of mine who at ninety-six refused to admit it and 
blithely said, when queried about her great age by a caller on her birthday, 
"Oh, I guess I'm about ninety." ( She lived to just three months short of one 
hundred. ) 

Most women are equally sensitive about their weight and dislike being 
asked to name the figure, with which they are doubtless displeased. 

Men and women of less than average height are often diffident about 
references to the fact. Surprisingly enough, it seems to me, very tall men 
usually are far from flattered at references to their height, and, of course, 
no very thin or fat man likes to have his deviation from the norm commented 
upon in public, no matter how much inured he seems to friendly raillery. 
The very fat and the very thin are sensitive people, easily hurt. 

Many of our ways of thinking are changing, so that a six-foot girl today 
might not bat an eyelash if you asked her how tall she was. If she carries 
herself straight and tall, is not afraid of high heels and dramatic hats, you 
can be sure she has no complex about her height. If she goes around in 
flat heels, walks stoop-shouldered, and wears itsy-bitsy accessories, you can 



be equally certain she'd hate to be asked her measurements and that to her 
such a question would be highly "personal." 

And while practically all American girls and men, too have big feet these 
days, many like to pretend their feet are smaller than they actually are, in 
deference, perhaps, to the Victorian idea that small hands and feet denoted 
gentility. A woman who wears an 8J2 D might get on the defensive if you 
asked her shoe size. 

I'd never ask my best friend whether he or she had dyed hair, false teeth, 
a wooden leg, or a glass eye. I wouldn't ask anyone who his legatees wouid 
be or how he had made out his insurance, how much money he had in the 
bank or how his marriage was going. 


You may be Helen Burke's most intimate friend, and she may have half- 
confided in you many times that she and Herbert are not getting along any 
too well. But for you to ask her a direct question as to the status of her 
relations with her husband is dangerous business. If you are cast in the role 
of confidante, willingly or unwillingly, avoid asking direct questions or refer- 
ring to a former confidence when perhaps the crisis that precipitated it may 
have passed. All married people have their moments of incompatibility. 
Never take them seriously until and unless you see separate residences 
established. And mentioning any such acrimonious scenes to which you 
may have been witness is a good way to close the doors to reconciliation 
between the couple. Somehow if all her best friends keep reminding Helen 
that Herbert's behavior has been unforgivable she will find it harder to 
forgive than if no one but the most discreet among her friends is mutely 
conscious that there has been a little fuss. 

When people are angry and abusive toward some friend, associate, or 
member of their family, don't take sides. Listen, refrain from expressing an 
opinion, and stay objective, though vaguely sympathetic. If angry friends 
ask for, get, and take your advice they will not like you better. On the 
contrary, they may resent your interference, well-meaning though you 
may have meant it to be. The role of mediator is hard and thankless, and 
most of us are not really equipped for the task. 


Personal questions can be unsettling unless you develop enough sophistica- 
tion to cope with them gracefully. Sometimes they are brutally asked with 
intent to wound. A naturally witty person knows well enough how to reply. 
An author who was asked by a jealous contemporary, "Who wrote your 
book for you?" replied, "Who read it to you?" This is the Socratic question- 
for-question defense which had best be left to professionals. 

The safer way is to pretend that no offense was meant and often the 
poser of personal questions is just a blunderer and doesn't really mean to 
be malicious. If you are a woman who does not care to advertise her age, 


whether it be twenty-five or forty-seven, you might reply to someone who 
asks how old you are (when it's none of his business), "You know, the 
women in my family have always been ageless and I like to keep it that 
way." Women are expected to lie about their age, anyhow, so even if you 
bared your sensibilities and told the truth the chances are your interrogator 
would, mentally, add another five or ten years. 

When no tactful answer seems to suffice and the personal probing goes on, 
the only solution is to be quite frank. Say, without getting angry, "I know 
you don't realize it, but that is a personal question I don't feel willing to 
answer." If he then takes offense, he deserves to. 


The word "lady" is suitable in the discussion of etiquette "A gentleman 
stands behind a lady's chair until she is seated," but the use of it in conversa- 
tion is very limited, unless we wish to imply our own humbler position. 

A woman caller being announced in an office or in your home by an 
employee or at home by a child is a "lady," not a woman. A secretary 
will announce, "There is a lady to see you, Mr. Zachary. Here is her card/' 
Or, "There is a Miss Long to see you. She's from the Grolier Society" (if 
she's presented no card). A child at home would say, "There's a lady to see 
you, Mommy." 

A secretary or other white-collar employee never says at least not in the 
hearing of the caller "There's a woman here." Neither, ushering in the 
caller, does she say, "You may come in, lady." Instead, she says, "Please 
come in," adding the visitor's name, if known. 

In a shop no one should ever use the word "lady" to a customer to get 
her attention, although in referring to the customer in speaking to someone 
else it is proper to say, "This lady would like to know if we carry " In 
cases where a man or woman, no matter what his or her station in life, does 
not know the name, or doesn't wish to use the name of a woman to whom it 
is necessary to direct a remark, it is proper to say "Madam," never "Miss," 
unless the title is followed by her last name. 

I have heard men in high business positions say, as a domestic properly 
does, "Please come in, Miss (to an obvious 'Miss')." Even with office per- 
sonnel whose names they don't know, they should not use this form of 
address. A pleasant "Come in" is all that is necessary. 

Remember, the King of England in his abdication speech referred to 
Wallis Simpson as "the woman I love." The word used properly has great 
dignity and meaning. A man, speaking of his wife, should refer to her as a 
"woman" to his friends, as a "lady" only to tradespeople and various others 
in service capacities. He may say to his new client, "I'd like you to meet my 
wife sometime a charming woman." To the station porter he should say, 
"Will you help the lady over there with the bags while I buy the tickets?" 

A woman does not refer to herself as a "lady" to her social equals. She 
does not call on the new neighbor explaining she is the "lady" next door. 



Instead, she says, "I am Mrs. Birch, your next door neighbor." To the butcher 
in the chain store she might say, "I am the lady who ordered the turkey last 
week," but I like better the more democratic, "I ordered the turkey last 
week." From your way of addressing him, the tradesman can see for 
himself how you should be catalogued. 


Whenever possible the word "Miss" as a summons to someone whose name 
you don't know should be avoided. If you are being served by a waitress 
and fail to catch her eye, "Waitress!" is better than "Miss!" If you are trying 
to catch up with a woman friend in the street, never call out her name 
which might embarrass her. Certainly you can't call "Miss!" after her, 
although if you are near enough and are on a first-name basis, you might 
call her first name softly in a crowd, if you fail to catch her attention any 
other way. 

Salespeople nowadays avoid "Miss" in speaking to customers, although 
many well-trained ones say "Madam," if necessary, except to a very young 
girl. It is undignified for a matron, however young, to be spoken to as 
"Miss" by someone waiting on her "Will you try these for size, Miss?" The 
"Miss" should be omitted and if any title is used, it should be "Madam." 
A customer, failing to catch a salesperson's eye, may call out "Miss," however. 


In America when men are introduced to each other they shake hands stand- 
ing, without, if possible, reaching in front of another person. They may 
smile or at least look pleasant and say nothing as they shake hands, or one 
may murmur some such usual, courteous phrase as "It is nice to meet (or 
know) you." To which the other may reply, "Nice to meet you" or merely 
Thank you." 

In shaking hands, men remove the right glove if the action isn't too 
awkward because of the suddenness of the encounter. If they shake hands 
with the glove on they say, "Please excuse (or forgive) my glove." If the 
introduction takes place on a ballroom floor and the men are wearing white 
kid gloves, the right glove is not removed, even for an introduction to a 
lady, and no apology is made. The purpose of the glove, in this case, is to 
prevent damaging the ladies' gowns with a (possibly) perspiring palm. 

Men who meet or are introduced to each other outdoors do not remove 
their hats unless a lady is present. Nor do men who know each other raise 
their hats when they pass on the street unless they are escorting ladies. 
When a man is introduced to a lady he does not offer his hand unless she 
makes the move first, as it is quite correct for a la^dy merely to bow in 
acknowledgement of an introduction in fact the usual thing. But of course 
no lady ever refuses a proffered hand and we should know that European 
men are taught to take the initiative in handshaking. The words of the in- 
troduction between a man and woman go this way: "Mrs. Gardiner, Mr. 


Longstreth." Or, "Mr. Longstreth, I would like you to meet Mrs. Gardiner.*' 
Or, again, and more formally, "Mrs. Gardiner, may I present Mr. Long- 
streth." Never introduce the woman to the man unless he is a clergyman, 
the President, a governor, a mayor, or a foreign head of state. Foreign am- 
bassadors are introduced to ladies. There is much less handshaking in this 
country, less between women, and women and men, than between men. 
A hostess, however, greets all her guests by shaking hands, and all guests 
should seek to shake the hand of the host. 

When women are introduced to each other and one is sitting, the other 
standing, the one who is seated does not rise unless the standee is her 
hostess or a much older or very distinguished woman. The rising of one 
woman for another in this country indicates great deference. It is often a 
delicate matter to decide whether or not a woman is sufficiently older than 
oneself to be worthy of the gesture. If not, she may be offended rather than 
honored. Any young girl in her early teens, however, should rise when 
introduced to any matron and to any older man of her parents' circle, but she 
shakes hands only if the older person so indicates. Of course, any woman 
seeking employment rises when presented to her prospective employer, male 
or female, and permits the interviewer to make the move to shake hands, 
or not, as he chooses. 

A woman or man introducing husband or wife to another person says, 
"This is my husband" or "May I introduce you to my wife?" A man's wife 
would, however, be introduced to a much older woman, to a woman of great 
distinction, or to an elderly and distinguished man. 

Neither spouse refers to the other socially as "Mr. Brown" or "Mrs. 
Brown." Nor does a man say "the wife" or "the missus." 

No one properly says "Charmed," "Delighted," or "Pleased to meet you" 
when presented to anyone. In fact, under ordinary circumstances a casual 
"Hello," or "How do you do?" (to which no answer but a repeated "How 
do you do?" or a smile is expected) is sufficient. A spontaneous "It's so nice 
to meet you" or "I am so glad you came" or even "I have heard so much 
about you" is fine when it is really meant but it is never obligatory. All 
introductions may be acknowledged with no more than a pleasant glance 
and a slight bow except those between men, where a handshake is usually 


At any dance, each man guest asks the hostess to dance at least once and also 
asks her daughters, if she has any, or her women house guests. A well- 
brought-up young man seeks out each lady of the household, including 
house guests, at a private dance, even grandmother, if she is present, and 
courteously asks for a dance. The phrase he uses is, "May I have this 
dance?" or "May I have the pleasure of this dance?" Between very young 
people this is often abbreviated to "Dance?" 

At a supper dance those who have come together sup together. It is the 



expected thing. As suppertime approaches a girl's escort seeks her out if she 
is dancing with someone else and at the appropriate moment says, "Shall v ro 
have supper?" 


No lady need dance with anyone if for some reason she doesn't care to. But 
she must always be polite in her refusal. If she is hoping for another partner 
she may say, "Thank you, but I don't believe I'm free right now." Or if 
she is tired she should say so, "Thank you, but I'd like to rest a little. Won't 
you join me?" (if she really wants him to.) At a large dance where there 
is a floor committee or stag line a man can always signal adroitly when he 
thinks he has danced enough of a duty dance or if he is stuck with a wall- 

Girls, of course, get stuck too during interminable dances when no one 
asks to cut in. If no relief seems in sight either partner can suggest leaving 
the floor, usually under the pretext that there are too many couples danc- 
ing, that a drink, or a talk, or a walk in the air might be more fun. If either 
partner feels inept at a particular dance and the music strikes up in that 
tempo that is another quite acceptable excuse for sitting out a dance. But a 
man never escorts a girl from the floor and leaves her unaccompanied, though 
she may always give him some polite excuse for leaving him once they are 
off the floor. 




There are men who will agree with me and most women will, too that 
cigar smoking has certain definite perils, esthetically. To me a large fat 
cigar in the mouth of a young man has about the same effect on his 
appearance as would a pince-nez. The smaller, slim, mild cigars seem 
preferable. At least it seems to discourage the unattractive habit of a man's 
leaving a half-smoked cigar around for later relighting. And a small cigar 
is usually treated like a cigarette and not allowed to stay overlong in the 
mouth. A chewed cigar end, only too apparent when the cigar is removed 
during the course of conversation, is enough to repel all but the most hardy 
females. If you do smoke cigars, treat them as if they were cigarettes. 
Don't exhale vast and, perhaps, offensive clouds of smoke. Remove the 


cigar when you talk, take brief puffs to keep the cigar dry and relatively 
sightly. Be sure a large enough ash tray is at hand before you start, so that 
you won't get cigar ashes all over the floor, furniture, and yourself. Never 
even ask to smoke a cigar during a meal (I suppose some men might). At 
table bring out cigars only at coffee time and even then, when the cigarettes 
are passed, be sure to ask if your stronger-odored cigar is permissible. Ask 
for a larger ash tray if the cigar you are to smoke is a large one. 

If you are smoking your cigar in the living room, you will be considered 
very thoughtful if you don't leave the butt in an ash tray. If you know your 
way around the house, put the dreary remains in the garbage can. Or, first 
running it under water, wrap it in paper and drop it in a waste basket. Of 
course, if servants are on hand to empty ash trays the minute they get over- 
crowded, one cigar butt more or less will make no difference. But it will 
make a terrific difference in a party-crowded room where all the ash trays 
fill rapidly and are not being emptied as soon as desirable. 

We might as well face it: the man who is a constant smoker of heavy ci- 
gars stains his teeth, lips, and fingers to a degree seldom encountered in 
cigarette smokers. But any heavy smoker whether of pipes, cigars, or ciga- 
rettesshould at least be conscious of the fact that his over-all powerful odor 
of often stale tobacco can be very offensive, especially to women. 

Heavy smokers men or women should be sure their clothes and they 
themselves are frequently aired. They need at least one thorough shampoo a 
week and regular trips to the dental hygienist to remove stains from the 
teeth. Finger stains can be taken care of at home with a few drops of perox- 
ide on the nail brush or a rubbing over with pumice stone. But yellow-stained 
fingernails just have to grow out, I gather. 

It is well known that every animal including us, has his own special 
natural odor. Ours should be an attractive one, but it is easily distorted into 
something less than attractive by oversmoking, overdrinking, or too great 
consumption of certain foods fatty ones, for example. Delicate colognes and 
perfumes should enhance our natural odors, not overshadow them. Scrupu- 
lous physical cleanliness and a cultivated fastidiousness about our habits, 
such as smoking and drinking, will make us more attractive. 

It is well known scientifically that humans, as well as animals, are at- 
tracted or repelled by the odor of another person even when they are not 
actually conscious such odors exist. Perhaps we have more in common with 
the hound than we imagine. 


Pipes are generally becoming to most men of any age with the possible 
exception of well-colored meerschaums, which to me at least seem a little 

But the pipe smoker must watch his manners, too. Pipe cleaning is a 
messy operation even in the hands of an expert and should be done in rela- 



tive privacy. The discarded contents of the bowl and the used pipe cleaner 
should be quickly disposed of, not left in the ash tray to befoul the atmos- 
phere. And if the smoker feels the necessity to improve the pipe's draw 
through loud sucking or blowing, or whatever it is that's so noisy, let him 
step outside the door, unless he is quite alone at his task. 

There is pipe tobacco and pipe tobacco. It's safer perhaps to go by the 
judgment of friends in the matter of which blend to choose than to pick one 
by taste alone. It is not possible that tobacco that smells so bad can taste 
that way, too. Let your friends' pleased or pained expressions when you light 
up be your guide. 


With smoking so common, we sometimes forget there are times and places 
where one never smokes, even though not so reminded by a "No Smoking" 
sign. Members of the assemblage in any religious ceremony taking place at 
home, a wedding, a christening or a funeral, do not smoke just as one 
doesn't smoke in church or, if he has any consideration, in elevators. Getting 
into an elevator "palming" a lighted cigar or cigarette is threatening yourself 
or fellow passengers with possible burns if the elevator becomes crowded 
or there is an accident. 

You may not smoke in an airplane while the "No Smoking" sign is lighted, 
although you may when the plane has reached a certain altitude and the 
sign goes off. 

Smoking is not allowed in court or in most public meeting places such as 
concert halls, movies, and theaters except in sections set aside for smokers. 
Many of the better restaurants prohibit smoking or restrict it. 

You do not smoke on busses, street cars, or trains unless you are seated in 
a smoking section, so labeled. Do not even pass through non-smoking areas 
carrying lighted pipes, cigars, or cigarettes. 

You never walk, smoking, into a sickroom or into a nursery. In a sick 
room, if the patient is smoking, you may smoke if invited to do so and are 
careful not to leave ashes and butts behind you to make the atmosphere un- 
pleasant. It is incredible how many people not only smoke while visiting a 
young baby in his nursery but also use any available receptacle for the 
ends of cigars and cigarettes from silver porringers to diaper pails with no 
thought at all for the baby's possible reaction to the ensuing fumes. 

Business firms have varying rules concerning smoking, but, even when 
employers don't consider the matter important, employees seated where they 
receive visitors to the office should not smoke on the job. Where office em- 
ployees are permitted to smoke at their desks, they should not allow ashes 
and butts to pile up in receptacles but should dispose of them from time to 
time and not by dumping them loose into the waste basket. Some employ- 
ers, in desperation at the amount of time lost if employees are allowed to 
smoke in rest rooms only, permit smoking on ihe job. But a cigarette or ci- 


gar resting on the edge of a desk can ruin the finish. Close work interrupted 
by drags on a cigar, pipe, or cigarette can suffer badly, and production can 
be slowed down to the point of serious inefficiency if the worker is a constant 

Women should not smoke while walking on city or town streets, although 
on open country roads they may if they wish (being careful to put out 
matches and smokes carefully before discarding them, to prevent fires). 

No one riding with others in a taxi or automobile should smoke without 
permission of the others. And used matches and butts should not be ground 
out on the floor. If no receptacle is provided, snub out the light against the 
sole of your shoe and discard the butt out the window. Do not throw lighted 
cigarettes or cigars out of the window, not only because they may start a 
fire or burn a passer-by, but because the wind may blow sparks or the smoke 
itself back into the car and cause damage. 

If you smoke on a sailboat, flip your ashes or discard your cigarette on the 
side the sail is on so the wind won't blow sparks or ashes or butts back into 
the boat. 



men's clubs 

A good club is not a social necessity, but it is a social convenience. It is, 
usually, a place where one meets men of similar interests and background, 
a comfortable pied-a-terre in town where a man can stay overnight, put up 
another man guest, receive messages and entertain in private, if he wishes, 
as if he were in his own home. 

Any man with enough money to pay the dues can list a long string of 
clubs after his name, even a long list of the best ones if he stands muster 
with the membership committees. But the man of substance prefers to be 
associated with usually not more than two main clubs, one in the country 
and one in town, depending on his interests. He avoids taking membership 
merely for the prestige in a number of clubs in whose affairs he can take 
little or no part. 

Actual, active identification with his club is to a man's benefit, because it 
permits him a say in the running of it. Absentee, inactive membership, 
widely practiced, means that a club is taken over by a small clique that 
runs it for its own benefit and often against the interests of the member- 


ship as a whole. Furthermore, if he really understands what his club repre- 
sents, what the thinking is as reflected in the by-laws, a man can protect 
himself against being classified as something he really is not, by fighting 
what he doesn't like or getting out. 

joining a club It is part of our snobbism that we don't want to join a club 
everyone can join. For that reason, a man never openly asks that he be put 
up for membership in any of the exclusive clubs, although he may tactfully 
indicate his interest to members among his friends. Then, if he seems eligible, 
they may propose him, first making sure that he understands what member- 
ship entails as to initiation fee, dues, rules, and regulations. It is, of course, 
highly embarrassing to the sponsor or sponsors if the proposed new member 
is rejected for any reason. Their explanation to him of such a rejection must 
be accepted gracefully and without probing. It is often possible for him to 
qualify for the same club later, especially if his reaction to the first refusal 
has been sporting. It is an axiom that it is easier for a well-introduced 
stranger to get into a good club than a well-known man-about-town who's 
had ample opportunity to gather enemies as well as friends. 

tipping in clubs In the major clubs the employees are tipped by the members 
at Christmas, or at the holiday time members may contribute to a kitty for 
the staff. In addition, most clubs now add a service charge to all bills. Guests 
of members do not tip unless they have been put up at the club, though the 
service charge is usually added to bills. Resident guests or members using 
private rooms for large parties may, if they wish, tip additionally the em- 
ployee with whom they have had the most contact on the same scale one 
would in a first-class hotel. 

proposing and seconding In large clubs new members are usually proposed 
by letter, although sometimes the proposing is done in a brief interview with 
the club secretary, who then usually posts the name, with the names of the 
proposer and seconder, after the suggestion has cleared the membership 
committee. The posting of the name gives members who might object to the 
inclusion of the proposed member a chance to protest to the board of gov- 
ernors. Such protest is often verbal to one or more governors or, preferably, 
by letter to the board of governors, stating one's objections to the proposed 
member. These objections are, supposedly, kept confidential and should be. 
It is foolish not to make them if they are merited and thus possibly admit a 
member who will not be agreeable. 

Letters of proposal and seconding A friend writes to the board of gov- 
ernors of his club to propose a new member somewhat in this manner, in- 
cluding relevant material: 


September 15, 1952 
To the Governors of the Town Club 

It gives me much pleasure to propose for membership my friend Dr. 
Norman Benson, Jr., a former college classmate. Dr. Benson is a graduate of 
Dartmouth College and of Harvard University where he received his M.D. 
His late uncle, Judge Timothy Way, was a long-time member of the club. 

Dr. Benson is married (to the former Lola Ferris) and lives at 800 Park 
Avenue. He is chief of research staff of Botts Pharmaceutical Company at 
700 Fifth Avenue. He is in his early forties, a good squash player and a 
sound man in every way. 

I hope you will agree that he would be a most desirable member. 

Norris Lanson 
321 Park Avenue 
New York, N.Y. 

The seconding letter merely states that the writer is seconding the pro- 
posal and adds a few words of commendation, general or specific. It is always 
wise for a sponsor to get more than one other member to endorse his candi- 
date for admission to the club if there seems any possibility of refusal. Often 
outsiders who can vouch for the candidate his clergyman, his banker, or 
his lawyer write to the board. Also, the sponsor sees to it that the proposed 
man meets as many of the board of governors as possible in brief calls upon 
them at their offices. The candidate makes these calls alone, after the spon- 
sor has made the necessary appointments. He meets usually four governors 
in this way, two of whom are on the membership committee. 

the letter of objection Voting on the candidate takes place in committee, 
with two blackballs counting against admission and no explanation required. 
All objections have usually been weighed before the election meeting. So 
any letter to the board is sent soon after the posting of the name. Such a 
letter should be reserved, but explicit enough to permit the board of gov- 
ernors to consider your objection properly. It might read: 

January 12, 1952 
To the Board of Governors of the Town Club 

It has come to my notice that Mr. has been proposed for member- 
ship. In my opinion Mr. indulges much too frequently and heavily 

in alcohol. I have seen him garrulous and contentious to a degree that 
would, I am sure, disturb our relatively conservative membership. 

Sincerely yours, 

62 Sutton Place 
New York, N.Y. 



putting up a guest Most club by-laws have a limitation on the number of 
times any guest may be admitted to the club over a certain period. They 
also limit the length of stay of a house guest, in most cases to two weeks. 
Only out-of-town guests may be put up at a club, not local residents. 

A letter putting up a guest is addressed to the club secretary. For example: 

February 6, 1952 
To the Secretary of the Town Club 

I should like to put up my business associate Mr. Thomas Putney, of 
Chicago, for the week of March 18th. Will you be kind enough to send him 
a membership card at our Chicago office, whose address is on this letter- 


Norris Lanson 
321 Park Avenue 
New York, N.Y. 

it is well understood that a member never asks to have a guest put up 
who for some reason would be quite ineligible for even non-resident mem- 
bership in the club should he wish to join. A member would not ask to put 
up a prominent Socialist in the Union League, for example. 

resigning from a club The loss of an influential member from a club is 
usually regrettable. If he is resigning " in protest," that is known by his con- 
duct in the club prior to his resignation. His actual letter of resignation is 
brief and merely for the record. If he must resign after bills for dues for the 
new year have been received, he pays his dues even if he does not plan to 
use the club. A letter of resignation is always formal and makes some polite 
excuse for not continuing membership. For example: 

June 16, 1952 
To the Governors of the Town Club 

Pressure of work makes it most difficult for me to take advantage of club 
privileges at all this year. I should like to resign with the thought that at 
some later date I might be able to continue the many pleasant activities and 
friendships the club afforded me. 

Most sincerely, 

John Robert Barbour 
321 East 76th Street 
New York, N.Y. 

guest of A private club A guest of a member must never "take over" a 
club. He should make himself agreeably inconspicuous and no more criticize 
the service, the furnishings, or facilities of the club than he would criticize 
these things in his host's own home. As in a private home, too, he asks per- 

mission to use the outside telephone, as he is required to give the member's 
name to the operator who is making the call. If he makes out-of-town calls 
or many local ones, he asks for the charges and quietly reimburses his host. 
He should not attempt to entertain his host in the club but should take him 
elsewhere, except possibly for a drink. Members, by the way, do not pay for 
meals and drinks at time of service but sign checks submitted and pay their 
bills monthly. 

Men's clubs sometimes have certain rooms or sections where they may 
entertain women guests or where women friends or members of their family 
may meet members or lunch or dine without them. These facilities should 
not be used without the express knowledge of the member, who then ar- 
ranges for the courtesy. The bill is signed by the guest, who places beneath 
his or her signature the member's name. The bill may then be settled later 
with the member, if that is the understanding. No tip is left, as a service 
charge is included. 

Also, in most men's clubs, there are rooms for members only. Guests are 
expected to meet members in the public rooms, only by appointment. 

women's clubs 

Women have far fewer resident clubs than men have. In formal clubs where 
there are full facilities the rules are much the same as those governing men's 
clubs. In such organizations as the Junior League, dedicated to social service, 
there are in addition certain work requirements before a candidate is eligible 
for membership. 

The Women's Club in communities throughout the country concerns itself 
at least in part with local improvement. It is usually tied in with the national 
organization, the General Federation of Women's Clubs, and open to any 
local resident who wishes to join. There are, too, many special interest 
clubs, many of them affiliated with such larger entities as the Garden Club 
of America, the League of Women Voters of the U.S., and the various 
women's divisions of political and fraternal organizations, all of which are 
of social and civic importance. 

fiow to obtain membership In such clubs as these it is perfectly proper for 
an interested woman to write the club secretary and ask for a membership 
blank. Or she may be taken to the club as a guest of a member, who then 
asks the secretary to give her a membership blank. Dues are usually nominal. 
They should be paid promptly, and, as in a very formal men's club, one pays 
her dues anyhow if the bill for them has arrived before a letter of resigna- 
tion has been received by the club. 

In all women's clubs that make any pretense at formality the parliamen- 
tary procedure is followed. Women members should familiarize themselves 
with the rules, so that the business affairs of their club may be conducted 
in a dignified and efficient manner. (See "Simple Parliamentary Procedure.") 



the elective clubs Such organizations as the Daughters of the American 
Revolution are elective to the extent that a candidate's qualifications for 
membership are rigidly fixed in this case certain ancestral participation in 
the American Revolution. Anyone who believes she qualifies may apply for 
membership, and her application is then passed upon after the necessary 
historical checking. 

club teas It is usual for women's club meetings to be followed by afternoon 
tea, with the tea presided over by one or more club officers, who thus serve 
as hostesses. The tea table, always properly covered with a white cloth, is 
set up with a silver tea service at one end, the water kept boiling by a spirit 
lamp. Cups and saucers are arranged within reach of the hostess, each cup 
on its saucer and a teaspoon to the right of the handle. For a limited number 
of guests the cup and saucer is stacked on a small cake plate with a tea nap- 
kin (usually paper) between saucer and plate. Generally only finger foods 
are served, so no fork or butter knife is needed. For very large teas the cake 
plates are stacked at the other end of the table with napkins between, or 
adjacent to, them. Guests go for their tea to the person pouring, telling her 
whether they wish sugar, lemon, or cream, then pick up their plates and 
serve themselves to little tea sandwiches or cakes. Frequently coffee is served 
at one end of the table and tea at the other, with a hostess presiding over 
each beverage. 

Guests usually take their tea standing and place their empty cups and 
plates on a sideboard or serving table for removal by committee members 
or available waitresses. As at any reception, one speaks to anyone who hap- 
pens to be standing near, whether or not one has been introduced. 


Under "Men's Clubs" and "Women's Clubs" I have discussed the procedures 
of becoming members and of resigning from clubs. The rules for behavior 
in all clubs are much the same, with consideration of others of major im- 
portance. In the section, "What's What in Various Sports," I discuss specific 
rules in sailing, tennis, swimming, etc., for spectators and participants. 

If you move into a community, it is best to inquire tactfully whether 
or not it is necessary to be proposed for membership to any local clubs that 
interest you. In general, community clubs are fairly informal, and one may 
apply to the club secretary for membership without being proposed by a 
sponsor and seconder. Yacht and golf clubs maintained by the municipality 
are open to all able to pay the small fees or dues for maintenance. 

Country and beach clubs are always family clubs and thus necessarily 
more relaxed than formal town clubs. The family uses them during summer 
week ends and sometimes in the winter, too. During the summer the 
younger generation infants with their nurses, sitters, or mothers, the sub- 
teens and teen-agers takes over during the week. From Monday to Friday 


there is not much point in trying to keep the noise down to a bearable level, 
except late in the day when adult members may wish to use the club, too. 
Infants obviously need their own little paddling corner, safe from the older 
children. All the children need some adult supervision even when there is 
no water. They must be taught early to use their own equipment, to return 
borrowed toys, boats, rafts, balls, and other things when they have finished 
using them. They should not be allowed to dig up turf or courts, throw 
sand, or misuse anything in the club house. 

Week ends, when weary adults hope for some relaxation, children must 
settle for less than the full facilities of the club. Parents with young children 
should try to keep them away from the club on Saturdays, Sundays, and 
holidays to give older people a chance. 

Club bills should be settled promptly and dues never be allowed to ac- 
cumulate. Even club members in good standing should remember they are 
there by sufferance, by tacit consent. The club itself with its rules and its 
by-laws creates an atmosphere wherein even a founder member has the 
status of a guest the minute he steps on the grounds. 


Most family clubs have few regulations concerning the bringing of guests, 
but good taste and good sense enter into consideration here, too. No one 
should bring so many guests that the facilities of the club are thereby taxed 
insofar as the members are concerned. For example, no member with con- 
sideration will fill all the badminton or tennis courts with his guests to the 
exclusion of members. Limited guests over week ends should be an unwrit- 
ten rule if guests are to use the club facilities such as locker and steam rooms, 
game courts, pools, beach, or golf course. If they are invited to be spectators, 
that is another matter, but they should always be the kind of people the club 
might welcome as members. A private club is no place on which to inflict 
one's own private little social crosses. 



A man or woman may take on a superficial patina of breeding, but it is very 
difficult to overcome slipshod table manners. And poor manners at table can 
be a real deterrent to social and even business progress. 

Gentle people are often acutely embarrassed by the table manners of 


those with whom they find themselves eating. A carefully bred wife may 
suffer much inner torture because her husband always when manners seem 
very important forgetfully leaves his spoon in his cup or absent-mindedly 
licks his fingers. It is the job of a good wife to help an ambitious husband 
overcome these poor manners in a tactful way if she can not solely because 
they offend her and are a poor example for the children but because good 
manners can help him advance in his work or profession. Of course, it is 
sometimes the other way around, and people are even less willing to over- 
look bad table manners on the part of women, who are expected to be fastid- 
ious about such things. 

Some of the things necessary to know about behavior at formal meals are 
discussed under "The Guest at Formal Meals." But there are many more: 

who is served first? The hostess is not served first unless she is the only 
lady at the table or is alone with her husband and children. If grandmother 
or even a young girl guest is present, the dishes are first presented to her 
after inspection by the hostess. When the hostess is serving at least part of 
the meal from in front of her place, with or without the aid of a servant, she 
is served next to last and her husband last. For her to serve herself earlier 
will mean her food will be cold and her filled plate in the way. 

when to begin eating After several people have been served, guests begin 
eating, so their food will not be cold. But children wait, if they are old 
enough to understand, until at least several guests have been served before 
beginning to eat, too. When children are alone with their parents it is con- 
siderate of them, at all meals but breakfast, to wait until their parents begin 
eating before beginning themselves, unless they are told to go ahead. And, 
except at breakfast, the polite husband waits until his wife has been served 
before beginning himself to eat. 

the use of the knife and fork Knives and forks may be used American or 
Continental fashion, but a combination of the two systems is now often 
seen and is quite acceptable. Even when one uses the American zigzag 
method, it is sensible to convey food one has just cut to the mouth with 
the fork in the left hand, if one wishes. In other words, if you have cut 
off a bit of chop, it is not necessary, even conservative American style, 
to lay down the knife, place the fork, tines up, in the right hand and 
convey the meat to the mouth. Instead, one may use the fork in the left 
hand, with the tines of the fork down. Also, in eating a bit of bread and 
gravy by impaling the bread on the fork (in either hand), tines down, and 
sopping up the gravy it is now more usual than otherwise to convey the 
bit to the mouth with the fork tines down rather than up. Of course, nothing 
that would leak off the fork apple pie or other things needing a shoveling 
technique should be eaten this way. In the European fashion, food eaten 
with fork and knife is piled with the knife on the back of the fork, held in 
the left hand, and pressed down so it won't fall off or in the case of meat, 


impaled on the tines. The fork is then conveyed to the mouth, upside down, 
with the left hand. 

drinking beverages at the table In drinking any beverage at table, a sip 
is never taken until the mouth is empty and has been wiped with the nap- 
kin. This keeps cup and glass rims free from food marks. 

the napkin Napkins are placed on the lap entirely open if they are lunch- 
size or in half if they are dinner napkins. Guests wait until the hostess has 
taken up hers before placing their own. Napkins are tucked in only for 
children. They are never refolded; at the end of the meal, they are gathered 
and laid casually to the right of the place setting. Paper napkins are prefer- 
able to napkins to be used for more than one meal and placed in rings, but, 
if rings are used, they are given only to the family. A guest staying over 
should have a clean napkin each meal. Napkins reused are as incomprehen- 
sible to me as beds which have only one sheet changed. There are so many 
more sensible ways to economize. 

tipping of dishes The tipping of soup or dessert dishes is acceptable if the 
plate is tipped away from the spoon, not toward the eater. 

the soup or bouillon cup Soup or bouillon served in a handled cup or even 
in a small cup-size bowl (Oriental fashion) is drunk. If there are dumplings 
or decorative vegetables or other garnish floating on top, these may be lifted 
out first with the spoon before the soup is drunk. Noodles or other things 
which may be in the bottom of the cup are spooned up after the liquid has 
been drunk. 

testing liqudds Coffee or tea may be tested for heat or sweetening by one sip 
from the spoon, then drunk. If it is too hot, it must be allowed to stand until 
it is tolerable it may not be blown, spoonful by spoonful, until it is cool 
enough to drink. 

"stirring" food Nothing should ever be stirred up or mashed into a conglom- 
erate heap on the plate. Gravy unless it is a gravy in which meat, fish or 
other protein is incorporated (rarebits, curries, blanquettes, chilis, etc.) is 
never poured or ladled onto rice, noodles, or other than meat on the plate. 
It is an insult to the cuisine to inundate everything on your plate with gravy 
or with that American favorite, catsup. If you want to eat your potatoes 
with gravy, you dip a forkful into the gravy that has escaped from the meat. 

conserves and jellies Conserves and jellies (jam and marmalade are for 
breakfast and tea) may be served at dinner or lunch with meat and are 
placed on the side of the plate, as are horse-radish, cranberry sauce, apple 
butter, relish. They are incorporated onto the fork as the food is taken into 
the mouth. Hard sauce is placed on the side of the dessert plate and incor- 
porated with the pudding with dessert fork or spoon. Dessert sauces are 
ladled onto the dessert. Liquid sauces (mint, Chateaubriand, Worcester- 
shire, etc. ) meant for the meat are poured only onto it. 



when food is too hot Too hot foods taken accidentally into the mouth are 
never hastily spit out in any way but are quenched with a drink of water 
before being swallowed (exception to rule against drinking with anything 
in the mouth). 

"spoiled" food Nothing, not even a bad clam, is ever spit, however surrepti- 
tiously, into a napkin. But it is sheer masochism to down, for the sake of 
manners, something really spoiled, once you have got a goodly mouthful. 
Anyone with experience in those foreign countries where such things are 
common knows it is better to seem unmannerly than to brave ptomaine 
or worse. Certainly, a partly chewed mouthful of food looks unappetizing to 
one's dinner partner if it has been necessary for you to deposit it from your 
fork on the side of the plate. It should be screened, if possible, with some 
celery leaves or, perhaps, a bit of bread. And, in taking it out of your mouth, 
try not to look as if anything were the matter. After all, if you were eating 
stewed or canned cherries, you would place the pits in the spoon with which 
you were eating, then place them on the side of your plate without anyone 
thinking the procedure disgusting. 

coughing at the table Ordinary coughing at table is done behind the hand, 
without excuse, but a coughing fit, brought on by something being caught in 
the windpipe, indicates that you must leave the table immediately without 
excuse (you can't talk, anyhow). If necessary, your partner at table offers 
help in the next room a pat on the back or a glass of water. If there is a 
servant present he or she attends to this unless the hostess indicates to some 
member of the family or to a nearby guest that help might be better from 
that source. 

blowing one's nose at the table If the nose must be blown at table, it is 
done as quietly as possible, without excuse to draw attention to the fact. 

"foreign matter" in foods Foreign bodies accidentally taken into the mouth 
with food gravel, stones, bird shot are removed with thumb and forefinger, 
as are fish bones and other tiny bones. If a gnat gets into a beverage or 
some other unappetizing creature turns up in or on a diner's food, he fishes 
it out, unobserved (so others won't see it and be upset), and then either 
proceeds or leaves the drink or dish untouched, depending on the degree of 
odiousness of the intruder. A gnat or a tiny inchworm on lettuce shouldn't 
bother anyone, but most fastidious people draw the line at a fly or worse. 
If the hostess notices an untouched dish, she may say, "Do let me serve you 
a fresh portion," and she has the dish or drink removed without remarking 
clinically as to the need for the move. Or if a servant notices, she asks if the 
guest would like a fresh serving. In a restaurant, if host or hostess does not 
notice (and both should be alert for this sort of thing) that something is 
amiss, the guest may tactfully murmur to the waiter that the dish or drink 
needs changing preferably when host or hostess's attention is directed else- 


when you need silverware Your own wet spoon should never be placed in 
a sugar bowl, nor your butter knife in the jam or butter dish. If the serving 
utensils have been forgotten, pause long enough for the hostess to notice 
what's happened. 

tasting another's food Sometimes a couple dining in a restaurant wish to 
taste each other's food. This is informal but permissible, though only if a 
fresh fork or spoon is used, with the possessor of the dish then handing the 
"taste" implement, handle first, to the other person. The other must not reach 
across the table and eat from a companion's plate, no matter how many 
years they have been married. If one of the two has had included some item 
say French fried potatoes in his order and doesn't wish them, he asks the 
waiter to serve them to the other, if desired he doesn't take them on his 
plate, then re-serve them. 

using bread as a "pusher" A bit of bread, if available, is used to push food 
onto a fork never use the fingers. At formal dinners when bread is not 
served one may always switch to the Continental style, if one is adept, and 
chase the peas onto the back of the fork held in the left hand, pressing them 
down before conveying the fork, upside down, to the mouth. Or, holding 
the fork in the right or (French and Italian fashion) left hand, tines up, 
on plate, one may guide difficult food onto it with the side of the knife. 

reaching at table Reaching at table is now preferred to asking neighbors to 
pass things one can well take up himself, but one should not have to rise out 
of his seat. 

conversation at the table Conversation and laughter should always be 
modified at table. Loud guffaws are disturbing at any time but worse from 
a dinner partner. General conversation, though it should never fall to a too 
confidential tone between diners, should never be so loud that the hostess 
cannot make herself heard, if she wishes to address the table. As it is she 
who guides the conversation, it is necessary for guests, even at a distance, 
to watch her for possible conversation breaks in the general talk. The modern 
hostess no longer does what her Victorian predecessor did that is, at some 
point halfway through dinner "turn the table" by turning and talking to her 
dinner partner on the other side, with everyone, no matter where he was in 
his conversation, expected to break off and turn in the same direction to 
talk to the partner on that side. Instead, well-bred men and women talk 
pleasantly across a narrow table and whenever a partner on one side seems 
disengaged may draw him or her into the conversation on the other side. 
No two partners ever allow themselves to become so engrossed in conversa- 
tion as to exclude everyone else, especially partners on the other side, 
throughout dinner. And it is the host and hostess's task to prevent such a 

What is deemed proper table conversation today? Almost anything except 
highly controversial (religion, politics) or squeamish topics (accidents, ill- 


ness, operations, real scandal, unaesthetic things), but many sophisticated 
people are able to discuss once taboo-at-table subjects in a manner that is 
quite inoffensive, because they know how to employ polite euphemisms in 
the same or a foreign language being sure they are comprehensible, of 
course, to the others at the table. For example, one of the funniest anecdotes 
I ever heard at table was told by a man quoting from an English magazine. In 
it there appeared the heading: 

John Longbottom 
Aged 3 mo. Dies 

The English magazine's trenchant comment in Latin, "Ars longa, vita brevis," 
would be impossibly vulgar, if explained. 

posture Elbows on the table are permissible between courses but not while 
one is eating. Feet should be kept well on the floor, not stretched out under 
the table or wound around chair legs to possibly interfere with others. 

taking portions from a serving dish When a serving dish is passed with 
toast or patty shells beneath some food in a sauce, one takes toast or patty 
shells, too. While their function is sometimes to absorb excess liquid (toast 
beneath poached eggs), they may, of course, be eaten, cut with fork or fork 
and knife, never in the fingers. 

When a dish is presented with serving fork and spoon, the spoon is used 
to cut or take up a portion, the fork is placed beneath it for the transfer to 
the plate. Where food is already portioned for instance, planked steak the 
guest takes the whole portion, does not (in this case) scrape off the potatoes 
and take just the steak. 

additional butter In eating potatoes or other vegetables, if additional butter 
is desired, it is taken from one's own butter plate with the lunch or dinner 
fork. The butter knife is only for the buttering of breads. 

how to hold classes Large, stemmed glasses (water or wine goblets) are 
held with the thumb and first two fingers at the base of the bowl. (Excep- 
tion: If they contain chilled white wine, they are held by the stem so as 
not to heat the wine with the fingers.) 

Small, stemmed glasses are held by the stems. Tumblers are held near the 
base, but, except by a child, never with both hands. A brandy snifter, of 
course, is held in the palms of both hands to warm the liquor. The delicate 
fragrance is inhaled, and, finally, the contents drunk, almost drop by drop. 


The saying of grace is, unfortunately, not the daily matter it used to be. 
But in many homes throughout the land grace is said. It is heard after the 
meal on Friday night especially among religious Jews. In most Christian 
homes the grace-saying ceremony is often limited to such great feast days as 
Thanksgiving, Christmas, and Easter, but, especially in rural communities, 


grace is frequently heard at the main meal of the week, Sunday dinner. It 
is usually said, at least on Sunday, in clergymen's homes. 

A guest at the table is often given the honor of saying grace. Some- 
times a child is asked to say it, or it is the expected privilege of the head 
of the house (i.e., father mother is head of the table). 

Grace is usually said after everyone is seated and before anything nap- 
kins or even water is touched on the table. A guest, of course, waits for the 
hostess's signal before unfolding his napkin, thus he can tell whether the 
table is waiting for all to be quiet so grace may be said. Heads are bowed 
and the grace is said by one person at the table with the "Amen" intonea 
by all. In Orthodox and Conservative homes all say ritual grace. In Reform 
Jewish homes the father or someone designated by him says the grace 
with the "Amen" intoned by all. Christian graces, like prayers, may be 
extemporized, of course, but there are many lovely, familiar ones. 

Here are two for children the first an old Scotch one suitable for all 

Thank you for the world so sweet 
Thank you for the food we eat 
Thank you for the birds that sing 
Thank you God for everything. 

Blessing for a Christian home: 

Bless this food 
And make us good 
For Jesus' sake. 

In religious Jewish homes after the father leads the general prayers before 
food, a child may say this grace: 

May the All Merciful bless my 
father, my leader, the master 
of this house, and my mother, 
my teacher, the mistress of 
this house. 

Here is the most familiar grace of all, acceptable to all religions: 

For what we are about to receive, 
Lord, make us truly thankful. Amen. 

An eighteenth-century grace from Charles County, Maryland, is for 
Christian homes: 

O Lord, forgive us our sins and 
bless these refreshments in 
Christ's name. Amen. 



A simple one for a guest is Ophelia's blessing from Hamlet: 

God be at your table. 

Various denominational prayer books, too, give graces. 
Catholics are instructed in the saying of grace both before and after meals. 
A Catholic grace before meals is: 

Bless us, O Lord, and these Thy 
gifts, which we are about to receive 
from Thy bounty, through Christ 
Our Lord. Amen. 


artichokes A finger food. The leaves are pulled off, one at a time, the fleshy 
base dipped in the accompanying sauce, then dexterously pulled through 
the teeth to extract the tender part. The inedible part of the leaf is then 
placed at the side of the plate so that by the time the choke (the fuzzy 
center) is reached there is a neat pile of leaves which, if the artichoke is 
very big, may be transferred in part at least to the butter plate, for greater 
convenience. When the choke appears, it is held with the fork or fingers and 
the tip of the knife neatly excises this inedible portion. Then the reward of 
all the labor comes the delicate fond or bottom of the artichoke, which, if 
large, is cut in manageable bits, then dipped in sauce and enjoyed 

asparagus It is not taboo to eat this in the fingers, but it is messy, so a fork is 
better. Use the fork to separate the tender part from the tougher end of 
the stem, then, again with the fork, reduce the edible part to manageable 
lengths to be dipped in sauce. Do not chew up and then discard, however 
delicately, the tougher ends, though you may bite off anything edible that 
remains on the ends by holding them in your fingers, not with the fork but 
this is an informal procedure. 

bacon Very crisp bacon may be eaten in the fingers if breaking it with a fork 
would scatter bits over the table. Bacon with any vestige of fat must be 
cut with fork or knife and eaten with the fork. 

birds, frogs' legs Tiny birds, such as squab and quail, and the bones of frogs' 
legs may be eaten in part with the fingers when the legs or wings are so 
small as to defy all but the most expert trencherman. Such small bones are 
held in the fingers by one end while the other end is placed directly in the 
mouth. The impression of gnawing the bone must be avoided. It is no 
shame, by the way, for a lady confronted with a squab or half a broiled 
chicken to ask assistance from the gentleman with her in dissecting it unless 
perhaps she's at a formal dinner. This is better than running the risk of 
having the meat land in her lap or, on the other hand, going hungry, if she 
is really inept. 


cake Sticky cake is eaten with a fork. Dry cake, such as pound cake or fruit 
cake, is broken and eaten in small pieces. Tiny confection cakes (served at 
wedding receptions, etc.) are eaten in the fingers. Cream puffs, Napoleons, 
and eclairs, all treacherous as to filling, are eaten with a fork. 

celery and olives Celery and olives are on the table when guests are seated 
if there is no service; or they are passed by a servant during the soup course. 
They are no longer considered essential even at formal dinner. They are 
taken in the fingers, placed on the side of the plate or on the butter plate 
(and see "Salt"). Olives, if small and stuffed, are put all at once in the 
mouth otherwise they are bitten in large bites and the stone put aside but 
not cleaned in mouth. 

chicken (Broiled and Fried) Chicken must be eaten with fork and knife except 
at picnics. Bones are not put into the mouth but are stripped with the knife 
while being held firmly by the fork. Joints are cut if one's knife is sharp 
enough and it can be done without lifting the elbows from the normal eating 
position. Chicken croquettes should be cut with the fork only, as are all 
croquettes and fish cakes, then conveyed to the mouth in manageable 

corn on the coR This is only for informal eating and, unless one's teeth will 
not permit, is best eaten on the cob, with the fingers of each hand firmly in 
control on each end. A long ear may be broken in half, but only a row or 
so at a time is buttered and seasoned, never the whole ear at once. Salt 
already mixed with butter, pepper, and perhaps paprika and shaped in little 
pats or balls may be provided by the considerate hostess, but a mixture of 
salt, butter, and pepper may be made, unnoticeably, on the side of one's 
plate, then smeared a little at a time on the corn as you are eating it. If the 
corn is to be cut off the cob, the cob is held on one end with th.3 left hand 
and the kernels cut off a few rows at a time with the dinner knife (which 
had better be sharp for the purpose). The kernels are then seasoned and 
eaten a forkful at a time, as one eats peas. There are small silver spears for 
holding corn, but if they are provided you are quite free to ignore them for 
the more trustworthy fingers-directly-on-corn technique. 

fish Small fish, fried, are usually served whole (though cleaned) with head 
and tail (smelt, sunfish, butterfish, etc.). The head is cut off first, then the 
fish is held in place with the fork and slit with the tip of the knife from 
head to tail and laid flat. The tip of the knife is then inserted under an end 
of the backbone, which with the help of the fork in a serving motion is 
gently lifted out, bringing with it many of the tiny bones in the fish. This 
skeletal material is laid on the side of the plate or possibly on the butter 
plate. The balance of the fish is then cut with the fork, or with the knife, 
if need be, for manageable portions. Any tiny bones still in the fish when it 
gets into the mouth, after being thoroughly cleaned in the mouth, are taken 
in thumb and forefinger, and are laid on the edge of the plate or on the 



butter plate if there is one. There is no objection to anyone hardy enough 
eating the head, and very tiny fish, such as whitebait (too small to clean), 
are eaten head and all in one bite. Never one for enjoying the sight of a fish- 
eye on my plate or in my chowder, I prefer to have even boiled fish (cod, 
haddock, salmon) come to the table with the head removed, but it is quite 
proper to serve it whole, with a lemon filling the gaping maw. 

fruit Apples and Pears Informally eaten in the hand, but at table they are 
taken onto the fruit plate and spirally peeled, or quartered with a knife, 
then peeled. The sections are then cored and eaten with the fingers or with 
the fruit fork. Lady apples, tiny as crab apples, are eaten in the fingers like 

Apricots, Cherries, Kumquats, Plums Apricots, cherries, plums are eaten 
in one or two bites, and the stones, cleaned in the mouth, are dropped into 
the cupped hand and placed on the side of the plate. Kumquats are bitten 
into or eaten whole depending on size. 

Halved Avocados In their shells these are eaten with a spoon, scooped out 
and taken spoonful by spoonful, with the dressing (perhaps lime juice and 
powdered sugar, or a little lake of French dressing) provided. Halved or 
quartered avocados in salads or on fruit platters are eaten with the fork 
after being broken into manageable bites. 

Bananas Very informally (at picnics and by small children) bananas are 
peeled down with the end of the skin as a protective holder. When eaten 
at table from a fruit dish they are peeled, then broken as needed into small 
pieces and conveyed to the mouth with the fingers. 

Berries Eaten with a spoon. Large strawberries are sometimes served 
whole with their stems on. These are grasped by the stem and dipped in 
powdered sugar on the plate, then eaten in one or two bites, with the stem 
remaining in the fingers. 

Grapes Cut a bunch or section of bunch from bunches in bowl with knife 
or scissors (never absent-mindedly pull off grapes from centerpiece or ar- 
rangement of fruit) . Eat one grape at a time, after placing bunch on serving 
plate. Grape skins, if you can't eat them, should be cleaned in the mouth 
but not chewed, then removed in the cupped hand with the pits and placed 
on the side of the plate. Or, holding the grape with the stem end to the lips, 
pop the inside into the mouth and lay skin on side of plate if they will pop. 

Grapefruit Eaten, halved, with a pointed fruit spoon. Sections should be 
loosened with grapefruit knife before serving. Do not squeeze out juice at 
table, except en farnille if the family can stand it. 

Mangoes Wits say the only place to eat them is in the bathtub. But they 
may be used in a fruit bowl and eaten at table, even though the best way to 
serve them is peeled, quartered, pitted, and chilled. A whole ripe (spotted) 


mango should be cut in half with a sharp fruit knife, then quartered. Then, 
with the quarter turned skin up and held in place with a fork, the skin 
should be carefully pulled away rather than peeled from the fruit. The juicy 
sections are then cut in one-bite morsels. Finger bowls or at least paper 
napkins are necessary, as this fruit stains badly. 

Oranges Peeled with a sharp knife in one continuous spiral (if you're 
adept), then pulled apart into segments and, if the segments are small, eaten 
segment by whole segment. If segments are large they are cut in half cross- 
wise with the fruit knife and eaten with fingers or fruit fork. Navel oranges 
are sometimes more easily eaten if the skin is quartered, then pulled down 
toward the navel and pulled off. The navel is then cut off and the orange 
segmented or cut in slices and eaten with the fork. At breakfast, oranges may 
be served halved like grapefruit, with the segments loosened, and are eaten 
with a fruit spoon. 

Peaches Halve, then quarter with fruit knife. Then lifting the skin of each 
quarter at an edge, pull it off. Eat sections in small pieces with fork, prefer- 
ably, as peach juice stains table linen. 

Persimmons Often served as a first course with the top cut off well below 
the stem and the base cut flat so the fruit stands firmly on the plate. Grasp- 
ing the persimmon with the left thumb and index finger, scoop out and eat 
a spoonful at a time, keeping the shell intact. Avoid the skin which, unless 
dead ripe, is puckery. The large pits are cleaned in the mouth, dropped into 
the spoon, and then deposited on the side of the plate. Persimmons in salad 
are peeled and quartered too difficult a procedure to attempt at table, and 
persimmons in a fruit arrangement firm enough to be decorative are likely 
to be all but inedible anyway. They should be dead ripe and slightly spotted. 

Pineapple Eaten with a spoon if served cut-up for dessert. If served on 
flat plates in quarters or eighths, peeled pineapple is eaten with a fork, after 
being cut with fruit knife. 

Stewed or Preserved Fruit The pits or bits of core of cherries, prunes, 
plums, apples, etc., eaten in compote form with a spoon are dropped into 
the spoon, then deposited on the side of the plate. 

Tangerines Stripped of their skins, segmented, and eaten in Che fingers 
without cutting or breaking the segments. 

Watermelon If served cubed and chilled (often in white wine), eaten 
from a compote with a fruit spoon. Otherwise eaten with the fork. If seeds 
are present, the fruit is taken seeds and all into the mouth, then the seeds 
are cleaned in the mouth, dropped into the cupped hand, and placed on 
the side of the plate, entirely dry. 

pickles and radishes Whole pickles are taken with the fingers, as are radishes. 
These are never conveyed from the serving plate directly to the mouth (nor 



is anything else where a serving plate is provided) but are laid on the side 
of the dinner or lunch plate or butter plate. (And see "Salt.") 

potatoes Baked These should be rubbed with fat before baking and be pre- 
sented immediately on coming from the oven, a cross having been cut 
neatly on the top to allow the escape of steam and to permit the pre-service 
insertion of a lump of butter, plus a sprinkling of salt and paprika. Then 
it is simple to hold the potato with the left hand while one explores its in- 
nards with the fork. But if a baked potato is presented whole it is taken 
from the dish with serving fork and spoon, then broken apart with the 
fingers for buttering and seasoning. It is then eaten with a fork, and if one 
wishes the skin may be cut up with a knife and eaten (never cutting it up 
in pieces all at once, any more than one would meat). If the skin is un- 
wanted, the mealy part of the potato is eaten right from the skin with each 
portion seasoned just before entering the mouth. Except for a child, do not 
scoop out all the potato, set the skin aside and mash the contents all at 
once with butter and seasoning. 

Chips Eaten in the fingers. 

French Fried Eaten with the fork after being halved with the fork, if 
necessary. Poor manners to hold an/ food with the fork and nibble off a 
manageable mouthful. 

Shoe String If really dry and impossible to eat with fork, may be eaten 
in the fingers. 

salad A quarter of iceberg lettuce may be eaten with knife and fork, 
though gourmets and nutritionists both frown on the cutting of lettuce in 
salad preparation. Lettuce for mixed salad should be broken in bits and 
mixed at the last minute to preserve the vitamin content. 

salt If there is only one saltcellar on the table (as there is when a condi- 
ment set is used or when there is a master salt), the salt is always sent down 
the table to the honored guest, if there is one, or to the hostess before mak- 
ing the rounds of the family. If salt is needed for dipping radishes or celery 
or for corn on the cob it is placed on the edge of the plate, never on the 
table cloth. If open salts are used and no salt spoon provided, use a clean 
knife to take salt from a common container. If individual open salts are at 
each place, salt may be taken between thumb and forefinger. 

sandwiches Small tea sandwiches and canapes are taken in the fingers and 
bitten into or, if bite-size, placed whole in the mouth. Double- and triple- 
decker club sandwiches, though served cut crosswise, are eaten at least with 
the aid of knife and fork. If they are not too unmanageable, they may be 
cut into fourths and eaten in the fingers. Otherwise, they are eaten with the 
fork, after being cut into small bits. 



or broiled: 1. Holding the 
body of the lobster on the 
plate with the left hand, twist 
off the claws with the right. 
Lay on side of plate. 2. Hold- 
ing the lobster steady on 
plate, if necessary, lift up tail 
meat with fork. Cut into 
manageable segments with 
knife, dip in melted butter or 
mayonnaise. 3. Break off 
small claws and gently suck 
out meat from severed end. 
4. Crack big claws, extract 
meat with seafood fork or nut 
pick, dip in melted butter or 
mayonnaise. 5. With seafood 
fork, pick out the good meat 
in the body, including the 
tamale, the green liver (and 
in females, the scarlet roe). 
Real lobster lovers unhinge 
the back and open the body 
of the lobster to extract the 
remaining sweet morsels. 



seafood Clams (steamed) The steaming process is supposed to open the shell 
completely but sometimes doesn't. If a shell is not fully open, take it up 
and bend it back with the fingers. If this doesn't work, forget that one do 
not use a dinner knife or fork as an opener. With shell fully open, take the 
shell in left hand just over the dish and with the right hand lift out the 
clam by the neck. Holding the neck with the right hand, pull the body of 
the clam from it and discard the neck sheath. Holding the clam by the 
neck with the right hand, place the whole clam first in melted butter or 
broth, or both alternately, then in the mouth in one bite. As empty shells 
collect, remove to butter plate or shell plates provided (and as clam-eating 
of this kind is always informal, it is an excellent idea for the hostess to pro- 
vide platters or bowls for empty shells as well as finger bowls with hot 
soapy water afterward). Do not spoon up remaining liquid in soup plate- 
it may be sandy but drink the broth separately provided in a bouillon cup 
or small bowl (but not if it is in a little dish). If clams are fried, eat with 
fork after breaking into two pieces if necessary. As these are greasy they 
should not be taken in the fingers, even by the neck. 

Lobster and Hard-Shelled Crabs (broiled or boiled) The claws of both of 
these require dexterous handling. They should be cracked in the kitchen 
but further cracking at table (with a nutcracker) may be needed. Then the 
shells are pulled apart by the fingers and the tender meat extracted care- 
fully so, if possible, it comes out whole. A nut pick is useful for this, but an 
oyster fork may do it, too. The claw meat, if small and in one piece, is dippec 
in melted butter or, with cold crab or lobster, in mayonnaise, then put all at 
once into the mouth. Larger pieces are first cut with a fork. The green 
material in the stomach cavity, called the tamale, along with the "coral" or 
roe in the female, are delicacies and should be eaten with the fork. The 
small claws are pulled from the body with the fingers, then the body-ends 
placed between the teeth so the meat may be extracted by chewing (but 
without a sucking noise). The major portion of meat is found in the stomach 
cavity and the tail and is first speared, one side at a time, with the fork, 
then with the help of the knife, if necessary, lifted out and cut as needed into 
mouthfuls, then dipped in sauce or mayonnaise with the fork. 

Mussels Served pickled or smoked on toothpicks as cocktail titbits and 
are thus taken via toothpick directly to the mouth. Served shells and all in 
a variety of soup styles, too Moules Marinieres (Mussels mariner style) in 
a soup dish with a delicate thin souplike sauce redolent with garlic. The 
mussels may be picked out with small oyster fork provided, but it is easier 
and just as correct to use the shells containing the mussels as small scoops. 
Pick up with the right hand and, placing the tip of the shell in the mouth 
gently (and silently), suck out mussel and sauce, then discard shell onto 
butter plate or platter provided. When shells have been cleared from dish, 
eat balance of sauce with spoon and bits of French bread used to sop up 
sauce, then conveyed to mouth with fork. Italian variety of this dish has 


tomato, is eaten the same way, often as a main dish with salad. Finger bowl 

Oysters and Clams (half shell) Hold the shell steady with left hand and, 
using oyster fork, lift oyster or clam whole from shell, detaching, where 
necessary, with fork. Dip in cocktail sauce in container on plate, if desired. 
Eat in one mouthful. Oyster crackers may be dropped whole in sauce, ex- 
tracted with oyster fork and eaten. 

Shrimps, Scallops, Oysters (fried) Eaten like fried clams, except that 
oriental fried shrimp (French fried with the tails on) are to be taken up 
by the tail and dipped in sauce, then bitten off to the tail, which is then 
discarded. Unshelled shrimp are lifted in the fingers, shelled, and conveyed 
whole to the mouth. 

Snails Usually served on a hot metal plate. A special hinged holder with 
which to grip the hot snail shells is usually provided (or hold the shell with 
your napkin protecting the fingers), as snails must be dug out. The holder 
grips the shell with the left hand while the right pulls out the snail with 
a pick or oyster fork. Snails are eaten whole, like raw oysters. When the 
shells have cooled, it is proper to tilt them into the mouth to get the garlic 
butter and snail liquor, or one may sop this up with bits of French bread, 
which are then conveyed to the mouth with the fork. 

spaghetti The aficionado knows that the only graceful and satisfying way to 
eat real Italian spaghetti (which comes in full-length or perhaps half-length 
rounds) is to eat it with a large soup spoon and a fork. The spoon is placed 
in the left hand more or less upright in the plate (or often platter) of 
spaghetti. The right hand uses the fork with the tip of the prongs against 
the spoon to wind the spaghetti into a manageable mouthful. It should not 
drip off the fork. The forkful of spaghetti is then conveyed to the mouth 
while the spoon remains in the hand and on the platter. As with any sauced 
dish, it should be eaten without stirring the spaghetti, grated cheese, and 
meatballs (or other garnish) all together, infant style. The timid way to eat 
spaghetti is to cut it into small bits with knife and fork and eat it with 
fork alone. Thick macaroni can't be eaten rolled on a fork so readily and is 
better cut with a fork as one goes along. Remaining sauce of each dish may 
be eaten with a spoon or sopped up with small bits of bread, which are then 
eaten with a fork. 

tortillas These are laid flat in the left hand or on plate, filled slightly with 
frijoles (kidney beans) or other appropriate mixture, rolled up and eaten like 
a rolled sandwich, endwise. 





If we know nothing of our neighbor's beliefs or background we may unwit- 
tingly offend him. If we have only a vague idea of his religious customs and 
taboos we may seem discourteous by our failure to respect them in our 
contact with him. 

Courtesy is a superficial name for actions that can have a very important 
place in the character building of a human being. Both children and adults 
should know about the often unthinking cruelty inherent in intolerance of 
other religions than their own. And how intolerance often stems from our 
primitive suspicion of anything that is different or not a part of our own 

Many educators believe that one way to help children and adults toward 
better relations with their fellow man is to give them some knowledge of 
others' beliefs and customs as a purely educational activity, not with the 
idea of disturbing their own religious affiliations. There are important dif- 
ferences and similarities between denominations, between the belief of the 
Roman Catholic and that of the Jew and among Jews themselves between 
what the Quaker believes and what guides the Buddhist or the Greek 
Catholic. If we think less of the differences and inform ourselves of the 
siirdfarities I believe we will have a warmer, more understanding attitude 
toward our neighbors. 

The wise parent, I feel, teaches his child that no matter what people's 
beliefs are, all who follow religion are seeking the same thing, the strength 
to be good. Or what in their religion teaches them is good and worthy in 
their day-to-day communion with their fellow men. 

Our country may be predominantly Protestant, but the lives of all our 
minorities are intimately connected with our own, many in very subtle ways. 
If our Italian tradesmen shut their shops to celebrate the Feast of St. 
Anthony, we may be affected. For that day at least we must find other 
places to shop, just as on Yom Kippur much business throughout the country 
slows down or stops or is in some way affected through the absence of 
personnel or the closing of some key business houses. If every fourth or fifth 
person we meet on St. Patrick's Day is wearing the green, we are conscious 
of the Irish-descended among us, of their predominantly Catholic adherence. 


Every community has its minorities. A Methodist is in the minority in an 
Irish or Italian neighborhood. A white man is in the minority in the China- 
towns or in the Harlems of America. The key to comfortable community life 
is courtesy true courtesy that respects the rights and feelings of all. Courtesy 
and friendly knowledge about your neighbor help prevent tensions. As 
America grows we'll need, more and more, to use courtesy in our community 


I think that depends on whether the friend is a deeply religious Orthodox 
Jew or one who thinks of Christmas and perhaps celebrates it, especially if 
he has children, as the national, gift-giving holiday it has become. It is per- 
haps better to avoid cards illustrating the Nativity. Many Jews now send 
non-religious Christmas greeting cards, have Christmas trees, and give and 
receive gifts. 


What about food restrictions of Jews and the fast days of Roman and Greek 
Catholics and some Episcopalians? What about Lent? As almost everyone 
knows, Catholics do not eat meat on Friday and on certain fast days or 
during Lent, the forty days commemorating Jesus's wandering in the wilder- 
ness. During Lent all Catholics and many Protestants keep certain Holy 
Days through special church attendance and fasting. Individuals often make 
token personal sacrifices by giving up candy, smoking, or other non-necessi- 
ties of life as a form of self-denial during this period. 

If a Catholic is to be your guest on Friday, it is considerate to plan your 
meal around non-meat dishes, if such a solution is acceptable to the majority 
who will be at table. On the other hand, to abandon the roast beef everyone 
has been looking foward to in favor of fish is, perhaps, to make the guest un- 
comfortable. When such a guest arrives unexpectedly and there seems no 
solution for him but to eat meat or go hungry, his Church does not expect 
him to do the latter but will make dispensation available to him. But for a 
non-Catholic hostess never to consider this problem with Catholic guests is 
thoughtless, to say the least. Where special food must be served a guest, 
whether he be an abstaining Catholic or Episcopalian, a non-shellfish eating 
Jew, or a man with an ulcer, let it be done without drawing the table's at- 
tention to the fact. 

An Orthodox Jew, in the minority among American Jews today, has many 
rigid restrictions concerning food and its preparation, but naturally no non- 
Jewish home is equipped to follow them. However, it is important to know 
that people who at home keep kosher will usually not feel free to eat the 
following foods away from home: any fish that is without gills, fins, or scales 
the scavenger fish such as eels; any seafood, and this includes oysters, 
crabs, lobsters, mussels, clams, crawfish; reptiles turtles, for example; or 



pork in any form. On the other hand, never assume that your Jewish friend 
adheres to the old restrictions. It is better to ask. I have known Conservative 
Jews who, as my guests, would condone the garlic butter on the steak, eat 
baked ham, but refuse a lobster. Reform Jews have no food restrictions, 
but they do have fast days. 

Moslems, many of whom are racially Semites, have many of the same 
food restrictions. They may not eat pork in any form or shellfish. The old 
religious leaders knew the peril of eating improperly cooked or cured pork, 
the danger of trying to keep it without refrigeration, so they forbade it. The 
equally perishable shellfish they prohibited too, not on the ground that there 
was anything basically impure about it, as I understand it, but because 
unless it was handled in a most sanitary way and eaten almost as soon as it 
was caught it was dangerous. 

It is interesting, too, that the mere proximity of these foods to permitted 
foods is forbidden. In my own home, we often give buffet suppers when 
there is a large crowd. Among my guests on one such occasion was an old 
friend, an Arab sheik. Both a ham and a turkey were on the buffet table, 
and, as the meat was carved, someone passed the sheik a plate containing a 
slice of ham and a slice of turkey. He sat politely with the plate of food 
untouched until I noticed what had happened and took the plate from him. 
Then, not completely understanding the problem, I merely removed the 
slice of ham and returned the plate with more turkey. Still he ate nothing, 
and when my attention turned to him again I realized at last what was the 
matter. The whole plate had been "contaminated" by the ham. I got a clean 
plate and served him again, omitting the ham, of course, and all was well. 
As he was a devout Moslem, my friend did not take alcohol in any form, 
although some Moslems do, and many smoke, although the Prophet forbade 
smoking as well as drinking. In place of occupying himself with a cigarette, 
the Moslem will often run his prayer beads through his fingers as he talks 
with friends or he will consume interminable cups of the sweet, thick 
"Turkish" coffee drunk demitasse without cream. 


The first day of Lent, Ash Wednesday, is kept by the Catholics and the 
Episcopalians, particularly, and their churches have special services on that 
day. Then both Catholics and high church Episcopalians may be seen with 
a smudge of ashes on their foreheads where the sign of the cross has been 
made by the officiating priest with ashes from the preceding Palm Sunday's 
palms burned for this Holy Day. 

On Palm Sunday, the last Sunday before Easter, you will see Catholics, 
Episcopalians, Presbyterians, Methodist-Episcopalians among the worship- 
ers coming from church with palm leaves or strips of palm to commemorate 
the palms carried on the entry of Jesus into Jerusalem. 

No matter what our own religious beliefs, in heterogeneous America we 


are conscious of many of the major religious festivals Ash Wednesday, Palm 
Sunday, Good Friday, Easter, Christmas. In some areas we note Chinese 
New Year with its paper dragons on parade, its firecrackers to warn off evil 
spirits, Russian Easter and the New Year that follow the Gregorian calen- 
dar in the Greek Orthodox Church. We are conscious, too, of the traditional 
Jewish Holy Days Hanukah, which corresponds in time to Christmas and is 
an eight-day festival of lights and gift-giving, Purim, the Spring festi- 
val celebrating the victory of the Jews over the tyrant Haman, Passover, the 
Jewish freedom day. This is a time of joy and great preparation, new clothes 
for the family, special feast food, and even something comparable to the 
Easter egg hunt, the hunt by the father for any leaven in the house (with the 
mother always arranging for him to find it, to add to the fun). This mock 
hunt commemorates the fact that in the Passover the Children of Israel were 
ordered to flee Egypt, as is told in the Bible, without taking time to leaven 
their bread. Then, of course, there are Rosh Hashana, the Jewish New Year, 
and Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement. And in big cities, at least, it is pos- 
sible that we might meet a Moslem who, though in Western clothes, is 
keeping a special one-month period like Lent, Ramadan, as did a Persian 
prince I knew, by wearing a mourning band on his arm and leaving his 
collar open at the neck. He fasts from sunrise to sunset, denies himself, and 
ends the period with a happy festival. 


There are many similarities in our various religions and sects. Both Catholics 
and Episcopalians celebrate the Circumcision because the baby Jesus, like 
all Jewish boy babies of religious parents, was taken to the synagogue on his 
eighth day of life to be named and circumcised with the appropriate cere- 
mony. Among religious Jews (and Moslems, too) the day of circumcision is 
the same day as the boy child's naming. On this day, like many Christian 
children, he is given godparents. (Non-ritual circumcision is now practiced 
very generally, whenever the obstetrician deems it necessary or where par- 
ents desire it as the health measure the ancient Jews knew it to be.) A girl 
receives her name when her father goes to synagogue as soon as possible 
after she is born, usually on a Sabbath (which is from Friday at sunset until 
Saturday at sunset) and, reciting a little prayer at the altar, states her name. 
Jewish girls of Conservative or Reform congregations may have godparents, 
too, like their brothers. 

In the Reform temple confirmation takes place for boys and girls at 
fourteen or fifteen, sometimes sixteen, years of age. The children are con- 
firmed as a group in a solemn and meaningful ceremony usually on the 
Feast of Weeks, or Pentecost, which comes seven weeks after Passover. 
In many congregations it is now customary for boys and girls to wear 
academic robes for their confirmation, with the girls in white and the boys 
in black or blue. Many Conservative temples now have the group confirma- 



tion service as well as Bas Mitzvah and Bar Mitzvah. Many Reform temples 
have both Bar Mitzvah as well as later confirmation. 

Among Catholics the baptism which joins the child to the Church takes 
place as soon after the birth of the child as possible, during its first month 
of life, usually on a Sunday afternoon. Catholic children have just one set 
of godparents. Some Protestant demoninations permit two godfathers for 
a boy or two godmothers for a girl. And some wait until the child is of an age 
to understand the baptismal ceremony before performing it. Other Prot- 
estants don't baptize at all. 

Catholic children often receive multiple names, one of which is that of 
a Saint, perhaps that of the Saint on whose day he was born. These names 
are not always all used when the child grows up, but they are his officially, 
nonetheless, even though he may use a shorter form of his name for legal 
and social purposes. Greek Orthodox children have just one given name. A 
Jewish child of traditional background is rarely "Jr.," "2nd" or "3rd" because 
it is not customary for Jews to be named for living people. If any meaningful 
name is used, it is usually that of someone recently dead, although the 
Biblical names are popular among Jews, too. 

The children of Congregational parents may be baptized at any age, and 
godparents are not traditional, though permissible. Often Congregationalists 
of Episcopal or Lutheran background like to have godparents for their 

Some Baptists depending on whether they are liberal or conservative- 
dedicate their children to the Church soon after birth. Actual baptism with 
complete immersion takes place any time after the age of twelve, when the 
individual is believed to be able to make a free-will decision to come into the 
church. After this, as in most of the "gathering" denominations, he is elected 
to church membership. 

Presbyterians baptize at any age, without godparents, then, after the age 
of twelve, the individual is elected to the Church. There is no confirmation. 
Lutheran baptism is similar to that of the Episcopalians, with the child 
having at least one sponsor. As with Episcopalians, the Lutherans accept the 
child into the Church at the time of baptism and confirm the pledges, made 
by the godparents at the time of baptism, when the child is twelve years 
old. The Eastern Orthodox confirm at the time of baptism in early infancy. 

Methodists baptize at any time, and the child has at least one sponsor. 
The parents make a statement at the time of baptism promising to bring up 
the child in the Christian way of life. Then as the child approaches adult- 
hood, any time from twelve on, he is prepared for admission to the Church 
through an affirmation of faith. 


Does a Protestant walking with a Catholic lift his hat, too, as he passes a 
Catholic church? He may if he wishes, out of courtesy, but no one would 
expect it. 


Does a non-Jew attending a wedding in a synagogue wear his hat if the 
congregation follows the old custom? Of course he does, just as non-Catholic 
women entering a Catholic house of worship, even as tourists, cover their 
heads, if only with a scrap of handkerchief, out of respect for the church 

Should a Catholic attending a wedding in a Quaker meeting house cross 
himself and make obeisance before sitting down? Probably not, as there is 
no altar. 

How does one reply to a Quaker who uses "thee" and "thou"? The use of 
"you" would be more natural, I believe. 

Should the Christian Scientist kneel at the funeral Mass for a friend, or 
should he merely bow his head as is his usual custom? 

These are difficult questions for anyone to answer. We might say, "When 
in Rome . . . ," but there are religious practices such as crossing oneself, 
lighting votive candles, or repeating the Creed that seem out of place or 
even hypocritical in one for whom such rites or statements of faith are not 

It is not necessary to stretch courtesy to the point of offending one's own 
conscience, yet one may stay within the form of the service one is attending, 
sufficiently to show proper respect for the traditions and rules of that particu- 
lar house of worship, standing when others stand, bowing the head at least 
when prayers are said, covering or uncovering the head as is customary. 
Communion, except among Catholics, who administer it to children before 
confirmation, is usually not taken by those who have not been confirmed, 
although in some Protestant churches the individual minister may administer 
the sacrament to the baptized at his own discretion. 

In some Protestant churches the single chalice used in the Communion 
service of the Episcopalians has given way to individual cups of sacramental 
wine or, with some denominations, grape juice. Or it has become customary 
for those taking Communion to dip the wafer in the cup (intinction) instead 
of touching the chalice to the lips. There are other variations used under 
certain circumstances. However, in many parishes such modernization of the 
ceremony, though now permitted, is not really welcomed. 

In taking Communion in a strange church take your place on the left of 
the rail when it is given at the altar so you may observe the custom of the 
church before accepting the sacrament or cup yourself. Catholics never offer 
Communion to non-Catholics, and only the priests partake of the wine. 

What is the meaning of the Greek letters IHS which we see on Catholic 
and Protestant altars and of the INRI often seen especially on crucifixes? 
IHS is the Greek contraction of Jesus's name in that language. INRI stands 
for Jesus (Iesus) Nazarenus Rex Iudaeorum, Jesus of Nazareth, King of the 
Jews, and is used only by Christians. The sign of the fish stands for Jesus, 
too, for the letters of the word in Greek for fish, ichthys, are the same as 
those in the Latin phrase for "Jesus Christ Son of God the Saviour." 

On their confirmation day, the day which for many is the day they join 


the church, you will see little girls of eleven or twelve walking to or from 
Catholic, Greek Catholic, and some Episcopal churches all in white, wearing 
miniature wedding veils and carrying flowers. On the Jewish boy's bar 
mitzvah, his confirmation day, you see him dressed as soberly as the 
Christian boy who goes to his confirmation at about the same age. His sister 
in the Conservative temple may have her bas mitzvah, for which she, too, 
dresses in white, although she is not veiled. The basic idea for all is the same, 
the admission of the child to the church or temple after a period of special 
preparation for the ceremony, a marking of a certain spiritual maturity and 
acceptability to the elders. 

In some parts of our country the largest minority consists of Orientals. 
Many are Christians, both Catholic and Protestant, especially among the 
Filipinos and Chinese. Japanese conversion is still fairly rare. 

One of the important things the Jews gave to many religions, including 
the Christian, is the Sabbath. Before the Mosaic law (that man should work 
six days and rest the seventh, the Sabbath) was handed down, men and 
women of the world then worked from daylight to darkness without having 
a specific day of rest. In fact, the expected thing was that they work a full 
seven days. The Sabbath, set aside for physical and spiritual replenishment, 
doesn't fall for all of us, not even for all Christians, on the Sunday of the 
Julian calendar. Seventh Day Adventists, for instance, celebrate it on Satur- 
day. In many places of the world, there still is no Sabbath. Religious worship 
may take place daily or several times daily before household shrines or in 
special calls to prayer. Work goes on around the clock, seven days of the 
week, and these peoples' places of business stay open even when they are 
transplanted to predominantly Christian Sunday-Sabbath communities un- 
less local ordinances forbid it. 

As the Christian Sunday is not the Sabbath of religious Jews, you will 
often find Jewish businesses in Jewish neighborhoods open on Sunday but 
closed on Saturday, for the convenience of their regular customers and to 
permit employees and business owners to attend religious services. 


Greek Catholic, Roman Catholic, high church Episcopalian priests and some 
other Protestant ministers wear the clerical collar and rabat (pronounced 
raby) outside of church. Rabbis do not wear the clerical collar and neither 
do Christian Science readers. Members of Catholic and Protestant brother- 
hoods and sisterhoods wear their garb at all times. 

Catholics, in general, carry and display the crucifix. The simple cross is 
more often used by Protestants, though the crucifix is used in many Protestant 
churches. When the cross is worn as jewelry, it is always the plain cross. 

Both Catholic and Protestant brotherhoods and sisterhoods are celibate, 
and some high church Episcopal priests take vows of chastity. Confession, 
too, is not limited to the Catholic Church but takes place as well in high 
church Episcopalian services. 





Every generation has its immigrants. Many of us are descendants of the 
Irish who emigrated here during the potato famine in the nineteenth century, 
of Italians who came to supply our labor pool or bolster our artisan class in 
the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, of early Dutch settlers dissatisfied 
with opportunities at home and who came to trade and colonize in New 
Amsterdam. We are all, no matter how impressive our family trees, de- 
scended from immigrants of one kind or the other, if we are Americans. 
Even the American Indian is now known to have emigrated here from Asia. 

Millions of us are the children or grandchildren or great-grandchildren 
of those who took refuge here to escape political, social or economic up- 
heavals in their own lands or who fled from religious persecution. The 
Pilgrim fathers, now so revered socially as ancestors, were the first refugees, 
fleeing religious persecution, just as in the twentieth century refugees from 
Hitler Protestants, Catholics, and Jews sought not only the right to worship 
as they please among us but the very chance to stay alive. The Pilgrims 
faced the Indians, who, being here first, resented any encroachment on their 
hunting grounds. Every new settler today has us to face the entrenched 
Americans, who, like the Indian tribes, forget sometimes that they came (or 
their grandfathers or great-grandfathers) to this land of opportunity be- 
cause, for some reason or other, things were not good at home. It is only 
natural for every man to regard the stranger, the possible economic en- 
croacher, with a wary eye. But we need to remember our own sources and 
realize that the vigor and progress of the country is stimulated by each such 
influx of new Americans, who bring with them talents, trades, ambition, and 
even wealth America can use. 

Let's examine some of our attitudes toward refugees in our century. 

One hears the criticism "Why do they all have to live in one neighborhood 
all the Italians, all the Poles, the Scandinavians, all the French, the Ger- 
mans, the Jews in tight little settlements?" The answer is that our ancestors, 
even if they came here at the time of the founding of our country, tended to 
do the same thing for reasons of solidarity. The melting pot that is America 
doesn't immediately gobble up the new citizen. Any American who was 
born abroad must, of necessity, have mixed feelings about his new homeland. 


The old living patterns, morals, social habits, and language are all part of 
him, and it is his children or perhaps his grandchildren who will first have 
the feeling of being uncomplicatedly "real Americans." Even after genera- 
tions of assimilation there tends to be this gathering together of Americans 
with like backgrounds the Irish in Boston, the Germans in St. Louis, Mil- 
waukee, and Chicago, the Italians and Jews and dozens of other ethnic 
groups in New York, the Scandinavians in the Midwest, the Pennsylvania 
"Dutch," (really German) in Pennsylvania. Newcomers, quite understand- 
ably, gravitate toward these centers, where they can hear their own lan- 
guage, eat their own food, go to their own houses of worship, and receive 
assistance in their adjustment to a new and strange and often unfriendly- 

It is true that the young do move out and into other circles, through 
marriage or business opportunities, but it is human and understandable that 
the older and less adventurous often prefer to make their way in a more 
familiar atmosphere. 

We should all remember that, no matter how American we are now, our 
ancestors, even if they were English speaking, had their own problems of 
adjustment here too physical, social, and economic. Even well-bred English 
who settle here today feel our hostility or experience our ridicule of their 
manners and customs as any English-born bride of an American can tell 
you. So it isn't language that is the principal difficulty at all. It is just the 
perversity of human nature. We all hate to move over, as others had to 
move over for us. 


All our new citizens or citizens-to-be have their own opinions of us, col- 
lectively as well as individually, and some of them quite unflattering. We 
are said by some Europeans to be noisy which some of us are scream- 
eaglish, that is, insular in our point of view, unsophisticated, often vulgar, 
and, worst of all, lacking in culture and inherent good taste. 

These things so often said of us by foreigners are to some degree true, 
but not all so reprehensible as some of us in our indignation may feel. We 
are a very young country in the eyes of older, wearier civilizations hence 
our frequent naivete. We Americans are in the process of developing a 
culture of our own, and some of it we have adopted from all the peoples 
who have come to make up our country. Our language, taken from the 
English majority among our settlers, is in many ways quite different from 
the English of England, because it has been influenced by the melting pot. 
Our music, our art, our literature are all trending toward a recognizable 
American culture. The fact that we are young and learning and yearning- 
should not be held against us. But we, in turn, should not feel superior to the 
older, established cultures and rich traditions, understanding and apprecia- 
tion of which can make our own lives immeasurably more interesting. 



tucking-in the dinner napkin In this country the napkin is never rucked in 
at the collar or in the vest, but must be put in the lap and opened lengthwise 
so that it is folded double across the knees. As it is used throughout the 
meal to dab the mouth, the napkin does come out of its fold but it should 
not be shaken out that way at the start of the meal (as you sometimes see 
waiters do). At the end of the meal or if, for any reason, you must leave the 
table during the meal, place the used napkin casually, not refolded, to the 
left of your fork. Little children may have their napkins tucked-in to save 
their clothes, however. 

silverware The placing of silverware on the table here is quite different from 
the placement in Europe (see "Table Setting"). The dinner knife is always 
on the right side of the plate, and the necessary forks are on the left, with 
the one to be used first at the far left. If an oyster fork is used, however, it 
often appears on the knife side. When your dinner plate is to be removed 
either for a second helping (when the host carves at the table) or to go to 
the kitchen, place the fork and knife you've been using side by side on the 
right side of your plate with the blade of the knife facing in and with the 
prongs of the fork up. The knife should be placed on the right of the used 


why a person who all his life has employed the Continental style in using his 
fork and knife should change to the American, unless he feels needlessly self- 
conscious about the difference when he's eating with Americans. Here, the 
knife is used for cutting and is never used to pile food on the back of a fork 
which then, European style, is conveyed to the mouth upside down and with 
the left hand. In America the fork is mostly used in the right hand, so that it 
corners the food by itself with little or no help from the knife, whose function 
ceases after it's cut the meat (and here potatoes may be cut, too). A bit of 
bread may be used to coax the food onto the fork or to blot up gravy (but 
then the gravy-soaked bread must be conveyed to the mouth by the fork). 
The knife may be used to steer food onto the front of the fork but, if you are 
eating American style, never convey the fork to the mouth upside down with 
food packed on the back, though you may use the fork this way with a 
manageable mouthful, say, of waffle, impaled on the prongs. The knife 
must be left, preferably blade in, on the right side of your plate when you 
are not actually using it. 

the use of the toothpick In Europe if a bit of food catches in one's teeth 
at dinner it is quite proper to remove it adroitly with a toothpick, using a 
table napkin as a screen. In America, however, one suffers. If you can't 
dislodge the offending bit with your tongue (and even such maneuvers must 
be unnoticed by the assemblage), leave it there until you can remove it in 
privacy. If something desperate happens such as a bit of oyster she 1 ] 



threatening to puncture your gum excuse yourself quietly from the table 
and make no report on your excavations when you return. The well- 
mannered person never inquires, even by the lift of an eyebrow, as to why 
someone else has left the table. 

"thank you" Many who come here knowing some English have learned 
it from English governesses, tutors, or instructors. They may never become 
conscious of many little Americanisms, ignorance of which can cause some 
social confusion. In America when you are asked, either at table or else- 
where, if you want something and you say "Thank you," this means you 
do want what is offered. In England it means the opposite. Here it is expected 
that you will say "Yes," or "No, thank you." A shake of the head is all that 
is necessary if you are offered something you do not wish by a servant at 
table although you may say, "No, thank you" to him or her quite properly. 

acknowledging a compliment Americans often disconcert the foreign-born 
by exclaiming, "Thank you!" when given a graceful compliment. This is an 
Americanism, of course, and the Continental manner of acknowledging a 
compliment a gentle, protesting smile is quite acceptable here. 

introductions and salutations In English the wife of a man bearing a doc- 
torate does not receive his title as she does in some other languages. She is 
merely Mrs. So and So, not Mrs. Dr. So and So. This applies to letters 
addressed to her, as well as to oral address. If in introducing her you wish 
to indicate that Mrs. So and So is the wife of a doctor, you say so. "May I 
present" (if you are introducing her to another woman older than herself 
or of her own age and social status) "Mrs. So and So. Her husband, as you 
may know, is Dr. John So and So." For further information on introductions, 
see "Dress and Manners." 

who is "doctor"? Europeans, by the way, tend to use doctorates, socially, 
more freely than we do. In America we commonly address as "Doctor" only 
persons holding the following degrees: M.D. (Doctor of Medicine), D.D.S. 
(Doctor of Dental Surgery), D.D. (Doctor of Divinity), and, optionally, 
Ph.D. (Doctor of Philosophy), and Sc.D. (Doctor of Science). The latter 
doctorates, along with LL.D. (Doctor of Laws), are more likely to be 
courtesy rather than professional titles, to be used socially or not as the 
holder prefers. Veterinaries, chiropodists, and chiropractors (in some states) 
who actually hold professional degrees use the title "Dr." both socially 
and professionally. 

using the phone The Continental is frequently puzzled about the accepted 
way of using the phone in English just as the American is often struck 
dumb if he must cope with a foreign operator or try to make himself under- 
stood in another language by means of the phone alone. When the phone 
rings, pick it up and say "hello." It is not necessary to announce your own 
name to the person calling. If you are calling someone else you do, of course, 
announce yourself by saying "This is Mr. Paris" or, if you feel a need tc 


identify yourself more clearly, "This is Jacques Paris speaking," not "Here is, 
etc.," European style. Give your whole name without "Mr., Mrs., or Miss" if 
the person you are calling answers himself and is your social equal. You do 
this even when you do not use each other's first names in conversation. If 
a servant answers you say, "Mr. So and So is calling," giving your first name, 
too, only if your last name is rather common a woman would say, for 
instance, "Mrs. John Jones calling." With other than a common name she 
says, "Mrs. De Paris calling" or, if someone other than a servant or secretary 
or child answers, "Norma De Paris calling." 

The older, British form of telephone greeting between men "Black of 
the National Bank calling" is not so frequently heard. To a man client 
such a man would announce himself as "George Black." 

If you give a number to the operator orally a zero is pronounced "o." If 
you are spelling a word or name the "z" is pronounced "zee" in America, 
not "zed" as in England. 

greetings Don't translate your reply to the polite greeting, "How are you?" 
into "Fine, how's yourself?" Instead you should say, "How are you?" 
answering the question with a question, as the whole greeting is a formality 
anyhow, or you may reply, "Fine, and how are you?" or "Very well, thank 
you and you?" 

the use of "lady" and "gentleman" In conversation we do not refer to a 
woman of our own social status as a "lady" or to a man as a "gentleman." 
Don't say, "I went next door to see the lady who lives there." Say, "I went 
next door to visit Mrs. Brown." You might add that she is a "charming 
woman" or that someone else is a "nice girl." Somehow the term "young 
lady" doesn't fall into the same servile classification as does that of "lady." 
In speaking of a male friend it is preferable to say that he is a "fine man" 
rather than that he is a "fine gentleman," as the latter phrase places you a 
step below him socially. Again, however, the use of the adjective "old" or 
"young" furbishes the word. You might refer to a "fine old gentleman" or a 
"gay young gentleman" and still indicate that they are of your own circle. 
A child, however, in referring to a grown-up says, for instance, "Mommy, 
may I offer the candy to this gentleman?" or "Does the lady always carry 
her doggie with her?" When a child knows the names of his parents' friends 
he should refer to them as Mrs. or Mr. So and So, if old enough to master 
surnames. I know a little boy of four who, if he forgets your name, refers 
to you simply as Mr. or Mrs. "Somebody." Very young children in America 
are often permitted to call their parents' intimate friends by the names they 
hear their parents use "Joe" or "Mary" because we may never use "Mrs.," 
"Mr.," or "Miss" alone without the surname as one does so simply in foreign 
languages. As children grow older they tend to decide for themselves where 
such intimacy is unwelcome and where it is preferred. To insist that a 
child call older people who are familiars of a household "Aunt" or "Uncle," 
when there is no reason for such a title, seems foolish and often irks the 




What justification is there for changing your name? If you are handicapped 
with a name that is almost impossible for English-speaking people to pro- 
nounce or spell some of the Russian, Polish, or Slavic names are good 
examples or are the possessor of a name that may leave you open to 
possible ridicule because of its association (Schicklgruber) or its connotation 
in English, you may do well to change it. Beware however of picking a 
surname at random only because its first letter is the same as that of your 
own. A man with a strong accent and the pleasant Italian name of Guglieri, 
who wearies of the way Americans mangle it, makes a mistake if he hits 
on to be a little far-fetched Gallagher, a typical Irish name. The combina- 
tion of an Italian accent and an Irish name might make him the butt of 
many jokes. 

Wherever possible simplify your name (the Welsh name I jams to lams is 
a good example) if need be, rather than choose a totally new name. Opera 
star Rise Stevens's Vienna-born husband did it nicely when he simplified his 
name, Szurovy to Surovy, easily spellable for us. Such a change permits you 
to keep your own identity, too. Try to have your name match your back- 
ground. It should not be too obvious that your name has been changed, if 
it's to fit you comfortably. If you go too far afield in your selection of a 
name people will have trouble associating you with it. If a man named 
Otto Schmeller, to choose a Germanic name at random, settles on Arthur 
Washington when everything about him is Germanic, including his accent 
and appearance, he will find his new name more of a handicap than he 
thought his original name to be. 

who can help with your name? First, don't change your name just to become 
Americanized or because the naturalization clerk suggests some banal name 
or names to you which you seize on without careful consideration. A name is 
important. If you change yours, get help in choosing one that fits. Don't be 
afraid to keep the name you were born with, even though it is a little 
difficult, if you like it. You may come from a distinguished family abroad 
and, in your heart, want to remain identified with it. America is peopled with 
men and women who bear other than Nordic names. I'd rather have a 
difficult name any day which, once mastered, is not easily forgotten, than one 
so common it has no distinction at all. 

If, after talking the matter over with your friends and family, you decide 
to change your name, discuss it further with a librarian, a genealogist, or 
an English teacher, so you will find the name that suits you best. Try 
wherever possible to keep your original first name. If your friends call you 
Hans or Rudolph or Jean, it will be confusing if your new legal name is 
anglicized to John, Ralph (let us say), or James, and when you bring old 
friends together with new ones, or with business acquaintances, there will 
always be the impression of duality. When you change your name, ii you do, 
it should be used socially as well as in business. 


how do you announce a change of name? When people change their names 
by legal means there need be no more confusion about it than there is when 
a woman changes her name to that of her husband. A formal announcement 
may be sent to friends and business associates to simplify matters, or you 
may let everyone know informally by letter, as the occasion arises, or casu- 
ally in conversation. A formal announcement reads like this: 

Mr. Casimir Wojciechowski 

announces that by permission of the court 

he has changed his name to 

Cass Wiecks 

A graceful announcement of the change may be made in a way that 

includes the juniors of the family, too. It is not, by the way, necessary to 

secure a court order to change your name, so long as you can, if challenged, 

prove you had no intent to defraud. A family adopting a new name may do 

so this way: 

Mr. and Mrs. Ulrich Uhrmachermeister 

Miss Gerda Uhrmachermeister 

and Master Karl Uhrmachermeister 

wish to inform you that they have adopted the surname of 


If first names have been changed you should list all the changes so the 
announcement reads: 

Mr. and Mrs. Ulrich Uhrmachermeister 

Miss Gerda Uhrmachermeister 

and Master Karl Uhrmachermeister 

wish to inform you that they have adopted the names of 

Mr. and Mrs. Richard Urman 

Miss Gertrude Urman 

and Master Charles Urman 

The phrase "wish to inform you that by order of the court they (or he) 
will be known as" is also used. 

Simple white cards are engraved with or without plate marking in black 
script or in any of the restrained English-style types. Where a very small 
list makes engraving of the cards extravagant, you may choose to have them 
printed, but the formal style should be the same. It's a serious matter to 
change one's name, and the procedure should be treated with due dignity. 

If no such formal announcement is made, seasonal greeting cards, if 
usually sent, could be signed "the Urmans (formerly the Uhrmacher- 
meisters)," but here again dignity should be the objective. 




The new citizen has at least a beginning understanding of his new language. 
It is more than courtesy to his adopted country that impels him to continue 
to study it carefully, even after his papers have been granted to him. If 
he is satisfied with a small vocabulary and a few idioms, or if, after many 
years in the country, he continues to translate his own language literally into 
English, he will continue to be considered a "foreigner" despite his American 
citizenship. He will have difficulty expressing his ideas fully in his business 
or profession. His children may feel some embarrassment at his unfamiliarity 
with English. 

Many foreign born who become American citizens may find it impossible 
to lose an accent a matter of little importance, I think, for foreign accents in 
English can be very attractive. It is the very rare American remember who 
learns to speak another language without accent. While there are methods 
of "de-accenting" the foreign born, it is not the accent itself that is of con- 
cern but the ability to make oneself understood and even to achieve real 
fluency in the language by thinking in it. 

If you, as a new American, speak as much English as possible even with 
business associates of your own original nationality, you will find that you 
do begin to think in English and can express yourself readily. If, however, 
your social life is spent largely with those of your own original nationality, 
something quite natural because of a community of interests, you may for 
years make the same errors as they do in speaking English. You may also 
lose the ability to hear the important differences when you speak with 
native-born Americans presupposing, of course, that they speak correctly 

foreign words in English It isn't easy to know what foreign words have 
become anglicized and which have not except by listening to the pronuncia- 
tion of cultured people. Even here it is possible to become confused, for in 
England the French word "garage" has gone native and becomes the ugly 
"ga-rahge," with accent on first syllable. "Hors d'oeuvres" is pronounced in 
the French way. "Valet" is preferably pronounced as it is spelled, although 
in the Middle West if you phone for valet service in a hotel the operator will 
probably correct you "Valla service?" she will query. But you may right- 
fully stick to your pronunciation, backed by even the Oxford Dictionary, 
which, by the way, can sometimes lead you sadly astray on American pro- 
nunciation. "Chauffeur" becomes "shofer," losing its French twist somewhat, 
while "aide-de-camp" is pronounced as if the words were English. "Buffet" 
is pronounced as the French meant it to be and is never anglicized. 

writing letters When you write a letter and use the form of address "My 
dear So and So," you are, strange to relate, using the more formal not the less 
formal term. In writing to intimates say, "Dear So and So," not "My dear." 


In speaking, too, if you say "My dear John," or "My dear fellow, would you 
pass me the salt," you are being patronizing rather than affectionate. 

If you are writing to someone very intimate you close your letters with 
something less formal than "Cordially." You say "Yours," "With love," 
"Love," "Affectionately," "As ever," "Always," or some other phrase to 
indicate your closeness. 




Informal Entertaining 261 

Formal Entertaining 271 

The Guest at Formal Meals 283 

The Ritual of Drinking 286 

Entertaining Indoors 2Q3 

Entertaining Out of Doors 2q8 

Hosts and Guests 300 


An Albanian proverb goes, "Every guest hates the others, and the host hates 
them all." Too much entertaining is exactly like that, with no fun intended. 

It is a good thing for a family to set aside its home for itself and its 
friends. When guests are invited to break bread for other than purely 
friendly reasons the entertainment is too often a failure, unless it so happens 
that such business acquaintances turn out to be congenial. A good rule to 
follow is: dont try to do business over your own dinner table. 

So entertaining at home should have no strings attached. Occasionally 
we all accept invitations we prefer not to accept and thus incur a social 
obligation we must repay in kind. The successful hostess never includes too 
many new or difficult guests at what should be an intimate little dinner. 
Eight people who never saw or heard of each other before and hope never 
to see or hear of each other again can do social violence to the most ade- 
quately planned evening. 

If host and hostess themselves can, through the careful selection of their 
guests and through sufficient advance preparation, look forward with pleasure 
to an evening or a week end, then the party is virtually assured of success. 
Whether trained servants present platters of peacocks' tongues or the hostess 
herself dishes up a good spaghetti dinner is quite immaterial. If the house 
looks as if it expected and welcomed guests, if the host and hostess are 
relaxed and smiling, the guests will feel at home and at ease, no matter 
what superficial accouterments of entertaining may be missing through 
necessity or design. 

Entertain and enjoy it! 






The truly formal dinner in all its stiff elegance is not what the average 
American thinks of as formal dinner. What we encounter most in the wa) 
of special entertaining is the semiformal or company dinner for which the 
household puts its best face forward. This is the seated dinner of four to 
eight guests (who may or may not be in evening dress) or even more, 
depending on the dining room's ability to contain them all comfortably. 
Entertaining at home of more than eight at dinner usually must be buffet 
style or at bridge tables, informally. 

invitations Invitations to the company informal dinner are usually phoned or 
are given by word of mouth, and, of course, may be extended by informals 
or calling cards (see Correspondence Section). The hostess always tenders 
the invitation. On occasion, for convenience's sake, her husband may do so 
in her name, where close friends are concerned. For example, if he is a com- 
muter and the friends are in the city he may phone them for his wife. He 
says, "Mary would like you to come to dinner on Friday at seven-thirty. 
Black tie." A hostess who asks her men guests these days to wear black tie 
in the suburbs or in the country, however, is very optimistic. She is safer 
to suggest that her women guests wear dinner dress and let the men come 
in their preferred dark suits, especially on a week night. 

Invitations to company dinners are not lightly treated. The hostess obvi- 
ously is going to considerable trouble, especially if she has little or no help. 
Guests should not disappoint her at the last minute without a believable 
excuse such as illness. Neither should they ask to bring another guest, with 
the possible exception of another single man for whom most hostesses have 

arriving guests No guest should be allowed to arrive without greeting. Both 
host and hostess should be on duty in the living room five minutes or more 
before the appointed time. When an invitation is issued for seven o'clock, 


guests may arrive at that hour, promptly, or up to ten or fifteen minutes 
later. At a large dinner party lateness of as much as half an hour is virtually 
expected in metropolitan communities, but frequently in the West and Mid- 
west when a dinner invitation is for seven, guests begin to arrive at six- 
thirty as it is assumed that they are to be seated at dinner at seven or 
shortly after. 

Once dinner is announced the hostess should not be expected to wait 
more than a few more minutes for late comers, unless one includes the guest 
of honor, who ideally should never be late but without whom it is certainly 
peculiar to sit down. If the lateness is really very serious, guest of honor 
or no, the hostess proceeds with the dinner. A late-comer enters the dining 
room as quietly as possible, goes briefly to the hostess (who remains seated 
so as not to disturb the table), makes an apology, and sits immediately in the 
indicated place. If the late one is a woman, the man to her right rises, or 
semi-rises, to seat her. Any long explanation of the reason for the lateness 
is uncalled for and should never draw in the others at the table. The hostess, 
no matter how she really feels about it, always minimizes the inconvenience 
to her as well as to the other guests. She says something such as, "It's really 
quite all right. I knew you would expect us to go right ahead." 

entering the dining room Where dinner partners have not been assigned by 
card (see "Formal Dinner" for example of place card) the hostess, when the 
meal has been announced, usually leads her women guests into the dining 
room with the men following, the host bringing up the rear. The men step 
forward and hold the chairs as the hostess indicates where each lady is to 
sit with the woman guest of honor placed to the host's right and the male 
guest of honor placed to the hostess's right. At a cue from the hostess the 
men then seat themselves. For parties of more than eight, place cards sim- 
plify this little procedure. Even at a smaller party cards should be used if 
the hostess is likely to become flustered or forgetful of names she must never 
resort to a little memorandum at her own place, as did one nervous hostess 
I knew. For seating at the semiformal dinner, see "Seating at the Formal 

rally, must be considered in planning dinner for guests. Availability of 
produce and meats, too, is a factor, as is the seasonableness of the weather. 
Foods with rich sauces are less appetizing in hot weather. In winter a main 
dish en gelee would seem unsubstantial. 

One of my favorite cookbooks, "Thoughts for Food" (Institute Publishing 
Company, Chicago), gives complete menus for each meal with accompany- 
ing recipes. The recipes for Informal Dinners as compared with those for 
Family Dinners show the degree of difference in the choice of food. A 
Family Dinner might have paprika schnitzel with noodles as a main course. 
One of the book's suggested Informal Dinner menus for guests is as follows: 


Avocado Cocktail 

Chicken Valenciennes Asparagus Polonaise 

Grape Compote 

Chocolate Profiterolles 

A formal dinner always has a soup course, always fish or seafood (which 
may come first, as in oysters a la Rockefeller), always hot meat with vege- 
tables as the main dish, a salad, dessert, little cakes (petits fours), and 
demitasses served in the living room. Each course is served separately. The 
informal dinner is not so complicated and consists of an entree of some 
kind, which may be hot or cold soup and which may be served in a handled 
cup, pottery bowl, or cream soup bowl, whereas at a formal dinner, soup 
is always in a flat soup dish. The main course may be fish instead of meat, 
since usually not both are served. Second helpings are often offered. At 
formal meals they never are. Salad may well be served at the same time as 
the main dish rather than as a separate course. There is dessert, and "after- 
dinner" coffee is often served at the table with dessert or just following it 
and is usually poured by the hostess (who adds sugar and cream for those 
who wish it) and passed around, though it may be poured in the kitchen if 
there is a waitress and passed on a tray with cream and sugar. 

the table A damask cloth may be used for an informal dinner, but place mats 
are becoming more usual. Candles are on the table and may be colored, 
rather than the white of the formal table. There is a centerpiece (which, if 
the table is against the wall, is centered against it rather than in the 
middle of the table), and it may consist of flowers, greenery, or a ceramic of 
some kind. A small table may have to dispense with a centerpiece entirely 
and use its main serving dishes a lovely tureen, a handsome casserole as 
focal points of interest. 

The old idea of white cloth and white napkins, matching fine china, clear 
matching crystal kept solely for "company," made for monotony. Hostesses 
who made a fetish of such things often had set company dinners, too, devoid 
of imagination and deadly dull. Actually there is considerable precedence 
for gay dining cloths. Those of the early Saxons were bright crimson, gold- 

At today's informal or semiformal dinner the guests may sit down at a 
bare, gleaming table, on occasion. Napkins may be almost any color, almost 
any material. Thick pottery mugs may be used for the summer iced tea, or 
frosty beer may come on in beer glasses, tankards, or steins. The dishes, the 
glassware, and the table covering if any, are more likely to be geared to 
the choice of food than to the fact that this is a company dinner. 

Imagine the visual effect of cold boiled scarlet lobsters in a big wooden 
mixing bowl in the center of a round table covered with fringed woods-green 
cloth. Think of the mayonnaise in yellow and turquoise majolica, the chablis 
in chunky clear glass, the napkins big, lobster-printed paperlike cotton bibs. 
The salad, of course, is served in individual wooden bowls, and the dessert is 


chilled mixed fruit whole red cherries, rosy pears, purple plums, crackling 
apples on a bed of crushed ice. Such a dinner is a far cry from grand- 
mother's hushed Victorian party meals. And a lot more fun for everyone. 


Pretension is so very uncomfortable. If a family has just one servant it is 
foolish to try to turn her into cook-waitress-nurse and lady's maid. Rarely 
these days do servants stay on one job the years it requires to function flaw- 
lessly at it. Pretrained servants coming on to a job are equally hard to find. 
The best thing in a one-servant household is for the mistress to face the 
fact that she cannot expect too much. 

Entertaining causes extra work. Unless she is willing and able herself to 
take on some of the extras such as making the butterballs and canapes, 
preparing the dessert, getting out the extra glassware, dishes, and silver 
and cleaning it, if necessary (special pieces can be sealed away in pliofilm, 
by the way, to appear bright as new for parties), a hostess is expecting too 
much of one maid, except, of course, when the family is small and adult. But 
there is still the usual routine of the household before party preparations 
can begin. Perhaps extra help is needed from outside, either during the day 
or to wait on the table and help with the cleaning up. 

A company dinner that is to be both prepared and served by one maid 
should be kept fairly simple three courses. Having a freezer makes it easy 
to have some dishes prepared in advance. Canapes can be frozen, then 
thawed or put in the oven (for those requiring broiling) just before the 
guests arrive and so can the dinner rolls. Frozen vegetables cut down on 
preparation time. The dessert even pie or cake can come from the freezer. 

If you have no freezer, use the freezing compartment of your refriger- 
ator wisely. It can store a dessert for a dinner party a day or more in 
advance, and it also can yield the vegetables. Rolls can be of the brown- 
and-serve variety or little glazed dinner rolls from the bakery. Don't ask 
Anna to bake fresh rolls, along with everything else she has to do. 

A simply prepared solid piece of meat for carving at the table or to be 
passed from a platter cuts down work. A roast, steak, broilers, or chops are 
more convenient for a dinner than fried chicken, veal scallopini, fried fish, 
or seafood. Avoid foods that require last-minute preparation and prompt 
consumption fried things and souffles for example. Roast beef is everybody's 
favorite, and everyone, too, likes steak, plain or dressed up. But steak is 
difficult if dinner has been preceded by more than three cocktails. It just 
can't be held indefinitely. If there is any doubt about the exact time of 
sitting down to dinner, roast lamb, roast pork, roast veal, baked ham, roast 
chicken are far wiser choices than steak or roast beef. 

fHE first course If a first course is to be served at the table (it could have 
been served in the living room and at such a dinner it may be omitted) a 
place plate is in place with the folded dinner napkin on it or the first course 



is actually on the place plate. In summer the first course may be creme vichys- 
soise, in winter a fish ramekin or hot soup in a bowl, a cup, or in a flat plate, 
with the folded napkin to the left of the forks. For utmost simplicity, if there 
is no first course, the heated dinner plates are at each place. 

A first course may be served by the maid once guests have been seated and 
have opened their napkins. All serving procedures described are intended 
to simplify work, save steps, and speed service. The maid comes in from 
the serving pantry or kitchen with the soup or other entree in her left hand, 
and at a dinner of no more than eight, beginning with the lady at the host's 
right (never with the hostess), she serves clockwise, ending with the host. 
Everything is served to the left. Or, if there is no first course and place plates 
are on the table, she exchanges the place plates for heated dinner plates, 
taking off the place plates with her right hand to the guest's left or right 
and putting down the hot plate with her left on the guest's left side. Then 
she brings in the main dish and sets it before the host if it is to be carved. 
She passes it (first showing it to the hostess for inspection) to the woman 
guest of honor, at the host's right, if it is a made dish such as a casserole 
or if it is meat or fish that has been portioned in the kitchen. This is bal- 
anced on her left hand on a clean, folded napkin, steadied, if necessary, 
with her right. Then she brings in the vegetables, one dish in each hand 
on the serving napkin. (A two- or three-compartment dish is excellent here, 
too.) She offers first the dish in her left hand, then that in her right. In 
each dish is a serving spoon and fork face down with handles toward the 
person to be served. (Forks may be omitted if the vegetable is something 
like peas. However, with a vegetable like asparagus or a vegetable that 
actually needs to be lifted, both implements are provided. Asparagus, by the 
way, is often on a folded linen napkin in the dish if a sauce is to be served 
separately, otherwise it must be well strained before being placed on the 
platter. Sometimes toast, too, is used as a moisture-catcher for asparagus.) 

The dish or platter should be held at a level comfortable to the guest, 
never too high and never so far to the side as to cause him to twist around 
in his chair. Sauces or gravies should be served immediately after the dish 
they accompany. Hot dishes should be very hot, cold ones chilled. No 
lukewarm gravies, tepid chops, or cold biscuits. 

if the host carves If the meat is to be carved at the table, or the fish appor- 
tioned by the host, the maid stands at the host's left. Either she has removed 
his place plate and put before him a stack of hot dinner plates or he has 
before him one hot plate which he fills and which the maid then takes with 
her left hand and places before the guest of honor, first removing his hot 
plate with her right hand, to the left or right. She then returns to the 
host, puts the new hot plate in front of him, serves it and gives him another. 
The host ladles on to each portion the accompanying sauce or gravy or this 
may be passed separately by the maid before the vegetables. Or she may 
place it on the table to be passed by the guests. 


If the host has before him a stack of hot plates the maid may stand at his 
left and take one filled one at a time, or two, if the table has been set with 
no place plates. Or she may let the host pass the plates right and left, as 
convenient, and she may bring the vegetables from the kitchen and serve 
them. With one maid, this is the best way to serve when the meat is carved 
at table. It assures that the food will be served hot. 

if the hostess serves A made dish or one to be portioned at the table, such 
as baked fish, may also be placed before the hostess. Or the host may serve 
meat or fish, and the hostess serve the vegetables. The maid first receives the 
plate from the host, takes it to the hostess' left for vegetables, sauces, or 
gravy, then serves it to the guest of honor and so on around the table. If 
the dining room is so tiny as to make any service awkward or if the maid 
is inept at service, the best thing is to let her bring in the dishes for the 
host and hostess to serve, remove them at the right time, crumb the table, 
perhaps pour the water, and serve the dessert and after-dinner coffee, 
letting it go at that. Better no service than the bumbling kind. 

serve left, remove right? At my school in Europe each girl had to wait on 
table certain days in the week. Everything was served to the left and, 
formal style, removed from the left. This was to teach us how to train our 
servants when we had our own households. The removal of plates from the 
left is strictly correct, but in America to speed service with limited help it 
is quite permissible to serve left, remove from the right. If this is done, 
however, the waitress never reaches in front of a guest to remove from the 
right anything such as a butter plate on the guest's extreme left. These 
things are removed from the left, always. 

serving and removing two plates at a time Where a service plate need 
not be considered, particularly after the table has been cleared for dessert 
of all soiled plates, of salts, of condiments, of bread, of crumbs, and of rel- 
ishes, of wine glasses unless one wine is serving through to dessert two 
plates at a time may be served. This is done by placing one dish with the 
right hand to the left of a guest and the other dish with the left hand to the 
left of the next guest. 

In removing dishes the same procedure takes place, with the soiled dishes 
being removed right, or left, with the maid using both hands. But if dishes 
are being removed from the left, all should be removed consistently from 
the left, so as not to confuse the guests. They should not be removed some- 
times left, sometimes right. 

At the end of dessert, the coffee may be served at the table, with the 
hostess pouring, adding cream or sugar as indicated, and passing the demi- 
tasses to guests, or after-dinner coffee may be served in the living room. In 
either case the hostess gives the signal to rise, first catching the eye of the 
lady guest of honor. She then leads the way to the living room. 




The term "luncheon" is not properly used in conversation, as it is supposedly 
reserved for formal and ceremonious use. A servant announces, "Luncheon 
is served," but the hostess might turn to her guests and say, "Shall we go in 
to lunch, now?" Hotels and restaurants use the term, but unaffected people 
use the verb "to lunch" instead. "Yesterday I lunched with Muriel," not 
"Yesterday I had luncheon with Muriel." In writing, especially in etiquette 
books, lunch and luncheon are more or less interchangeable, however. 

Lunch in a household with one maid is simple at most three courses, 
sometimes, in consideration of dieters, only one. 

The first course, which may be soup or an entree, is in place on a place 
plate as the guests enter, hostess first to indicate the seating. Soup is served 
at lunch in a cup, bowl or covered casserole. However, if it is to be the main 
course a thick soup such as bouillabaisse or French potato soup it is often 
served in flat soup plates from a tureen, with thick slices of French bread, 
fresh or toasted, in the semicut long loaf with garlic butter. Butter plates 
are on the table, and the maid either passes a variety of breads, often small 
hot ones, or places the bread basket or dish on the table for passing among 
the guests. A long French loaf may come to the table on a cutting board with 
a bread knife. 

When summoned, the maid removes the soup and place plate together 
from left or right and immediately replaces them with the plate for the fol- 
lowing course, which may be a salad plate arranged in the kitchen or a 
luncheon plate with an individual casserole on it or a warm plate for a dish 
that is to be passed or served by the hostess. 

She then brings in the main dish, if there is one to be served, and either 
holds it on the flat of her left hand on a folded napkin, serving to the left of 
each guest, or places it in front of the hostess, then stands to the hostess' 
left to receive the filled plates. In small dining rooms or where the maid is 
less than perfection it is much simpler for the hostess not only to "dish" the 
main course but to hand around the plates herself, serving the lady on her 
right first. Better complete informality than ceremony that doesn't quite 
come off. 

During the main course the maid pours water, when needed, and perhaps 
wine. In the summer, iced, sweetened, and lemon-flavored tea or water and 
wine are placed on the table, so the guests may help themselves at the 
hostess' suggestion. If iced coffee is served, hot coffee is poured over ice 
cubes into the glasses at the table and sugar and cream are passed either by 
die maid or by the hostess, so guests may add either or both to taste. At the 
end of the main course the plates are removed, left or right, and off come 
the butter plates, bread tray, condiments, and any serving dishes. The water 
glasses remain and so do wine glasses if wine is to be served through dessert. 
If sherry was served with the soup the sherry glasses are usually removed 
with the soup. Before the dessert comes in the table is crumbed. 

Dessert may be portioned in the kitchen and served, left, to each guest, 


with dessert spoon and fork left and right on the plate, or the dessert imple- 
ments may be at the top of the plate throughout the meal, European style. 
Or the dessert, say, charlotte russe, may be served by the hostess who has 
to her left the plates on which to serve it. Either the maid stays to place one 
plate at a time before the hostess from a stack at the left or the hostess does 
this herself, placing the dessert silver from the neatly arranged spoons and 
forks on her right before passing each dish. Hot tea, never served after iced 
tea, of course, or after iced coffee, is served by the hostess at the table. If it 
is convenient and she has the equipment she may make it right at the table 
over a small electric burner or, traditionally, over a spirit lamp. But, more 
usually, the teapot is brought in from the kitchen on a bare tray with the 
necessary cups and saucers, the sugar, milk, hot water, basin, and lemon 
slices. (See "How to Make Tea.") The little ceremony of making tea is 
always reserved to the hostess, who, in turn, unless there are many at table, 
hands each cup directly to each guest. She may add "cream" or lemon and/ 
or sugar as indicated by the guest, or these may be passed separately by the 
maid. Tea is never, never served in the kitchen and passed on a tray. It 
should be made with loose tea leaves, never with what Louise Andrews 
Kent (Mrs. Appleyard) refers to as "the mouse in the teacup," a tea bag. 
These little horrors are, I suppose, a necessity of cafeterias, but they do a 
great disservice to tea. 

There is no further disturbance of the guests by the maid while tea k 
being drunk. Tea is one of the most pleasant digestives. Its good offices 
must not be hurried by a busy little maid clearing away the dessert dishes. 


Afternoon tea as a gentle means of relaxation should be encouraged in this 
country. Surely it is a pleasant, and incidentally inexpensive, way to repay 
small social obligations, even though husbands, unless they happen to work 
at home, can rarely be included. 

Invitations to simple teas at home are usually given personally by the 
hostess or by phone. For elaborate teas a calling card or an informal may be 
sent but this would be done only for some special occasion. For debutante 
teas the invitations are engraved. (See Correspondence Section.) 

The actual tray on which the tea is served has no cloth, although the 
table on which it is placed usually does. (See "Service of Tea, Coffee, and 
Candy" and "How to Make Tea.") All silver should be gleaming. Tea plates 
are in a stack, a folded napkin between each one. On the tea tray are the 
following: pitcher of hot water (for those who like diluted tea), teapot in 
any heat-holding material, silver or silver plate being the most decorative, 
a bowl for waste leaves, sugar, milk (not cream), lemon slices with pick or 
small fork, tea knives and forks if necessary, cups and saucers, conveniently 
stacked if necessary, buttered thin bread, jam, cookies, small cakes, tarts, 
or pastries, sugar tongs for lump sugar. 



setting up the tea tray The tea tray is always set up without a cloth and 
with all the things on it arranged in pleasing symmetry. Shown lower left to 
right: Teaspoons ( optional, otherwise on saucers as shown ) , basin for leaves, 
teapot on alcohol lamp, sugar, cream (really milk), sugar tongs, hot water. 
Upper, left to right: Tea plates stacked with tea napkins, tea cups with 
spoons shown on saucers to right of handles, jam pot, lemon slices stuck 
with cloves. 

One dresses for tea according to neighborhood custom. In the country 
and even in the city a tweed suit and sweater might be appropriate. In some 
houses and with some people a simple daytime dress might seem more apro- 
pos. In the summer a fresh cotton or linen such as is worn in hot weather is 
correct. Hats may or may not be worn by guests. 


Cocktail time is usually from five to seven. On Sundays and holidays, espe- 
cially in the country, cocktails are often served before the lunch or noon 
dinner hour, not necessarily followed by a meal at the home of the host and 

Any hostess who gives a large cocktail party where many guests are 
jammed in a relatively small area may expect a certain amount of damage. 
The space should be cleared as much as possible of footstools, objets dart, 
delicate plants, small children, and pets. Large, inexpensive ash trays should 
be provided in every spot where a careless one might feel prompted to 
abandon a cigarette. 

A table or bar should be set up, close to the festive scene, where drinks 
may be mixed and picked up. This may be a pantry, a porch, the dining 
room or any place but the kitchen if a meal is also in progress of prepara- 
tion. It is inevitable that most of the male and some of the female guests 
will stay in more or less fixed positions in the vicinity of the refreshments. 

On or near the bar should be a continuous supply of clean glasses and a 
tray, too, for the used ones. People are supposed to keep track of their own 
glasses at cocktail parties in anticipation of refills, but they never do. A wise 


hostess equips herself with three times the number of glasses as guests. Such 
glasses need not be expensive at all. 

No cocktail party ever ends on schedule. The people you expected to stay 
on for dinner frequently disappear early, probably because they can't wait 
out the bores who refuse to depart without one more drink. The experienced 
giver of cocktail parties plans to have dinner out to give himself a good 
excuse to clear the decks at a fairly definite time. He is, of course, under no 
obligation to extend a dinner invitation to those remaining, but it usually 
works out that all the stragglers go along if the dinner place is a restaurant 
and there the men share the check. The host and hostess wishing to avoid 
the cocktail guests who linger until midnight providentially make outside 
dinner engagements at friends' homes where they cannot take last-minute 
guests. Or they bring out a cold supper when the party has dwindled. 


Large dances at home are becoming rare except for weddings, when an 
orchestra may be brought in and a dancing pavilion erected. In many homes 
there are occasions when the rugs may be rolled back and the room cleared 
for dancing to the radio or phonograph or to the music of an accordion. 

Graduation parties often are built around a home dance. Porch or living 
room floor is sprinkled with wax or even corn meal, a refreshment table is 
set up, music of some sort provided, and the evening is under way. Punch 
is the most suitable beverage at a dance as it is a pre-mixed drink and re- 
freshing between dances. Nothing is served with it, but a dance is usually 
followed by a late supper, simple or elaborate as the occasion demands. 

No matter what the age group, certain rules are always followed at 
dances. A man or boy always asks his hostess for a dance during the evening. 
And he literally dances attention on the girl he has brought to the party, 
dancing his first dance with her and seeing that she is never without a part- 
ner or never left alone on the sidelines. A girl has the obligation of paying 
proper attention to the man who has brought her, not allowing herself to be 
whisked away the minute she enters the door, never to see her escort again 
during the evening until it is time to be taken home. 

A host tries to dance with each woman guest at his party sometime during 
the evening. In a small group if some of the men do not dance he dances 
first with a guest, then with his wife if she has not been asked to dance. If 
all wish to dance, host and hostess often start off the dancing. 

No guest, of course, leaves a dance without a brief farewell to host and 
hostess. A man who has come alone always asks his hostess if he may be of 
help in escorting an unaccompanied lady home. A hostess never allows such 
a guest to go home alone. 

"open house" 

An "open house" is an informal gathering of friends and neighbors by card, 
by phone, and by word of mouth. In smaller communities where virtually 
everyone knows everyone else news of a coming "open house" is often 



announced in the local papers and the community knows it is welcome to 
come without a specific invitation. An "open house" is often given before a 
large wedding or the day afterward if many people have come long dis- 
tances for the event and the parents of either the bride or groom wish to 
entertain them in this way. Too, an "open house" is frequently given as a 

At an "open house" the time is given to span as many as four or five hours. 
People call to pay their respects, have some light refreshment, punch and 
small cakes, sometimes buffet and highballs, and leave. In this way hun- 
dreds may be entertained modestly or elaborately, as the hosts wish. Paper 
plates and cups are usual and guests often serve themselves. 




Few homes in the land these days can accommodate the traditional thirty- 
four guests at one dinner table. Who indeed has the space to store all the 
silver, glassware, and china for such dinner parties, and where are the 
trained men to serve them, one man to each three guests? Queen Victoria's 
dinners required three servants to each six guests. Present-day monarchs 
have one footman to each four or five guests. 

Important hostesses today feel that formal dinners at home are best re- 
placed by smaller, more frequent semiformal and quite informal dinners or, 
if occasion really seems to demand formal dinners, that they be given in a 
private suite of a hotel or fashionable restaurant. However, as the occasional 
formal dinner does take place, let us see how the hostess must marshal her 
forces for such an undertaking. 

First, she must have the room to seat all her guests at one dining table. 
The minute she deviates from this arrangement, or makes do with female 
help at table, her dinner can no longer be considered formal. 

Then, paramount, of course, is a chef or real cuisiniere who can turn out 
to perfection the food that, of itself, proclaims a formal meal. Finally, she 
must have a butler who will function as major-domo, commanding his men 
trained footmen perhaps hired for the occasion but preferably true house 
servants rather than restaurant waiters recruited for the event. These are 
usually best supplied by a catering service, along with any additional kitchen 
help that may be needed. Of course all must be properly attired (see 
"Dress and Duties of the Household Staff"). The hostess who can give 
such a dinner with only her own staff is fortunate indeed. 

Just before the arrival of her guests, usually a few minutes before eight, 
though sometimes formal dinners start at eight-thirty, the hostess checks the 


seating at formal lunch and dinner and the Informal Dinner Party 

dining room and gives any last minute instructions to the butler. He, in 
turn, makes his tour of the footmen and inspects their apparel, their shoes, 
hair, and fingernails. In earlier times such serving men wore white cotton 
gloves, because of the danger, as one writer put it, of a dirty thumb in the 
soup. The butler sees to it that there are no dirty thumbs or anything else 
that can't pass muster. 


moves his coat and hat each gentleman takes the small envelope bearing 
his name and containing the name of his dinner partner, from a conven- 
iently placed hall tray. If the lady is unknown to him he arranges to be 
formally introduced before dinner is served. At very large dinner parties 
there is often a table diagram in the hall, and he should locate his and his 
partner's seat on this before going in to dinner. 

At such a formal dinner the "roof" is not sufficient introduction, and guests 
must be formally introduced to one another. Obviously at very large func- 
tions guests necessarily meet only a limited number of other guests. 

entering the dining room At formal dinners the host offers his arm to the 
woman guest of honor and leads the way into the dining room followed by 
the other guests, teamed, with the hostess and the male guest of honor en- 
tering last. Host and hostess stand behind their chairs, and the hostess indi- 
cates (if no diagram has been provided) where each guest is to sit. The 
hostess then is seated by the male guest of honor, and everyone else follows 

seating The seating at formal dinners is the same as that at informal ones at 
which guests are present. Host and hostess are seated more or less opposite 
each other, with the hostess preferably near the entrance through which the 



formal place card. Monogram, in this case, in gold with matching border. 
Name of guest is handwritten without given name. 

food will appear. To the right of the host is placed the honored woman 
guest. If a young engaged girl is to be feted, for example, she is given this 
place despite the fact that older women are present. If among the guests 
there is one woman who has come some distance and is rarely a visitor to 
the household, it is she who would be given this place of honor. Ordinarily, 
among people who see each other frequently, the hostess places to the host's 
right any woman who has obvious seniority over the rest or, if none has, 
any woman guest who will bring out her husband conversationally if he 
needs special incentive. To her own right the hostess places the husband of 
the guest of honor, if there is one, the man who has come the greatest 
distance and is an infrequent visitor to the household or a man who may be 
a little shy or difficult conversationally. 

To the host's left is placed the next most important woman guest and to 
the hostess' left, the next most important man guest. 

At a long banquet table host and hostess need not sit at opposite ends but 
may sit across from each other at the center. The same seating of guests of 
honor maintains, however. 

place cards at the formal dinner At each place will be a guest's name. 
The cards are usually plain white with beveled edges gilded, although in a 
household using a heraldic device the host's full coat of arms may be em- 
bossed in gold or the crest alone without the motto may be used. A widow 
or an unmarried woman may properly use only a lozenge for menu and place 
cards. (See "Heraldic Devices.") 

Place card names are written "Mrs. Roberts," "Miss Sweeney," "Mr. Prud- 
homme" at formal dinners. At diplomatic dinners titles are abbreviated, 
"H. E. [for His Excellency] the Norwegian Ambassador," "The Secretary 
of Defense." Dinner partners refer to these gentlemen as "Mr. Ambassador" 
and "Mr. Secretary" in direct conversation, by the way. 

menus and menu cards Menus, printed, occasionally engraved, in script, or 
written in scriptlike handwriting in black ink, are always in French, as we 



Beluga Caviar 

Saumon Fume de Nova Scotia 

Pate de Foie Gras Naturel 

Consomme Printanier 
Celeri Radis Olives 

Terrapin a la Union Club 

Filet de Boeuf larde roti 
Pommes Parisienne Asperges Hollandaise 

Salade du Jar din Petit Roquefort 

Gateau St. Honore Petits Fours 

Chocolats Fruits Noix 

Harvey's Bristol Dry Kentucky Bourbon 

Liebfraumilch Auslese 1945 Old Pugh 1882 

Chateau Marquis de Terme 1923 Old Jordan 1891 


Dom Perignon 1928 Spring Hill 1894 

April 26, 1949 

see them at large, formal, public functions in the best hotels. Sometimes a 
menu, with or without a heraldic device, is in its holder at each place, but 
one is always in front of the host and hostess and others are placed down 
the table with one for each three guests. 


The butler takes his stand behind the hostess. He moves from this vantage 
point only when a footman needs direction or when he, himself, pours the 
wine. He actually serves food only if there is not sufficient additional staff to 
do the serving, and then serves the main dishes only. 

In a smaller household a butler and a footman can efficiently serve a for- 



mal dinner for from eight to twelve guests. If he is quite adept, with 
adequate kitchen support a butler alone can handle a formal dinner for 
eight. At dinners larger than twelve it is necessary to have duplicate serving 
dishes presented simultaneously to each six or seven guests. In this way all 
food will be served so that the guests may eat more or less at the same time 
and hot food will be properly hot. The service begins with the lady at the 
host's right, and at a large dinner dishes are presented simultaneously to 
the ladies nearest, right and left, of the hostess. Butler, if he serves, and foot- 
men present dishes with the left hand, right hands behind back. 

At a very large dinner it is, naturally, not possible to wait until each guest 
has finished eating before the clearing of plates begins. In lavish service 
where a man was behind each chair, for instance at royal banquets, each 
plate was removed the minute the diner indicated by placement of the silver 
that he had finished with it. Today, the butler directs the removal of plates, 
or begins the removal himself, when the majority has finished, bypassing 
the slower diners, but there must be no sense of hurry and certainly no 
clatter or audible staff directions. 

At only one period is there ever a moment when there is not a plate 
before a guest. That is just before the service of dessert. Until then, begin- 
ning with the place plate with its folded napkin upon it, there is always a 
plate. Sometimes there is still another on top of it, as in the case of, say, a 
crabmeat cocktail which would be in a stemmed double container, the 
"supreme" glass (sometimes silver) surrounding the "liner," on a small 
service plate. This complete unit is placed on the place plate. It is replaced, 
on the place plate, with the soup course always in a flat dish. At the end 
of the soup course place plate and soup dish are removed, and, at a formal 
meal, removal is only from the left, except for those parts of the setting that 
are on the guest's right. As the place and soup plate are removed together, 
the warm plate for the fish course is immediately substituted. After the fish 
course has been removed the "rdti' appears, always hot, though not neces- 
sarily "roasted" at all. It is always completely arranged on a beautifully 
garnished platter or platters, often with its accompanying vegetables, such 
as tiny pan-roasted potatoes. Or green vegetables follow on a separate serv- 
ing dish, sometimes on the partitioned kind where vegetables such as new 
peas, julienne carrots, and buttered pearl onions may each occupy a section. 
The whole course is passed to each guest who takes something of everything 
but actually eats what he pleases. At a formal dinner nothing is offered a 
second time, aside from water and wine replenishments. 

In Victorian days a sherbet, or "sorbet," followed the roast or came be- 
tween entree and roast as a separate course. In the West, Midwest, South, 
and Southwest today it is often served in a sherbet compote, which in turn 
is on a small serving plate. It may be eaten with a spoon or a fork along 
with the main course. 

In Victorian days, too, a ten-course formal dinner was quite customarv 
with game following the roast. Today, the roast, which may well he game, is 


the climax of the formal dinner and is followed by salad, dessert, and fruit. 
The salad course is often quite elaborate, perhaps pate de foie gras en belle- 
vue served without dressed lettuce because its delicate flavor must be kept 
intact. Its garniture, therefore, is more likely to be plain watercress or bits of 
aspic. Or the salad may be of exotic, green hearts of palm with thin slices of 
cold smoked turkey. 

Where there are plenty of servants the fingerbowl may not come in on the 
fruit plate but may be brought on its own serving plate, replacing the used 
fruit plate before the guests leave the table for coffee. Otherwise, at a formal 
dinner, fruit plate, fruit knife and fork, finger bowl, and doily arrive as one 
unit. (See "Presentation of the Finger Bowl.") 

turning the table The "turning of the table" at a formal dinner is suppos- 
edly done by the hostess somewhere midway during the meal. She gently 
terminates her conversation with the gentleman on her right the gentleman 
of honor and turns to the gentleman on her left. Others are supposed to 
watch for this "turn" and do likewise. In actual practice people try to con- 
verse right and left throughout the meal, and even across a sufficiently nar- 
row table, in a normal way. "Turning the table" makes for conversational 

leaving the dining room At the end of the fruit course, the hostess catches 
the eye of the lady of honor or some other lady at the other end of the 
table, bows, and slowly rises. The gentlemen rise and, where there are not 
enough men servants, assist the ladies. The hostess then indicates where 
coffee is to be served. English style, the men are served at the dining table 
with cigars, port, liqueurs, and demitasses, the latter offered today with 
cream and sugar, though once it was de rigueur to serve cafe noir at a formal 
dinner. Or the men may escort their dinner partners to the living room, then 
leave them for the library or wherever else the men are congregating for 
coffee. The women then have coffee and liqueurs alone and, before the men 
return, repair their make-up. Or, Continental fashion, men and women leave 
the dining room together, the men offering their arms, and together enjoy 
their coffee and liqueurs and smoking in the living room. This is the 
pleasanter method, it seems to me, and helps prevent that dismaying band- 
ing of men together that so often occurs at American dinner parties. 

departing after the formal dinner Except for some very good reason dis- 
cussed previously with the hostess, no guest may leave after a formal dinner 
in a private home in less than two and a half to three hours and even then, 
not until the guest or guests of honor have departed. At formal public din- 
ners guests who must leave early go quietly either before the speeches begin 
or between them, never while a guest of honor is speaking or while a national 
anthem is being played. Those who must leave, leave by the nearest exit 
without stopping to talk or bid farewell to guests encountered en route, ex- 
cept to bow briefly. 




In the 1880s formal luncheons, feminine to a degree, were very elaborate, 
with hand-painted satin menu cards, illustrated place cards, fantastic pas- 
toral centerpieces. 

An etiquette writer of the day, speaking of such affairs, found it necessary 
to admonish, "To eat with gloves on is female snobbery. Young women who 
go out to parties may be indifferent to smearing them with lobster salad, or 
to have the first finger and thumb darkened where the spoon touches them. 
But nothing is prettier than the freshness of a woman's hand, and the best 
fitting glove is, after all, but an awkward thing. Gloved hands that feed, 
to keep up the whole dignity of the thing, should find mouths which were 
hidden behind veils." Ladies lunching in those days were snuggly hatted, 
without exception, including the hostess. It is interesting to note that Queen 
Victoria was reported as dining gloveless. 

Today, although the formal lunch at home is rare, it does occasionally 
take place, especially at country places, resorts, and in diplomatic circles. 

Invitations to a formal luncheon are usually telephoned, but those to 
official luncheons are engraved. At official luncheons and at Sunday, Satur- 
day, or holiday ones, men and women guests are usually equal in number; 
otherwise a formal luncheon is essentially a feminine occasion. 

Again, a formal luncheon is not possible without an adequate household 
staff. A hostess may not serve it herself, although if butler or houseman is 
lacking a waitress is quite acceptable at a formal lunch, though not at a 
formal dinner. 

greeting guests The guests are met at the door by a servant who indicates 
where coats may be left. He or she then usually precedes the guest to the 
living room (unless all guests know the house well), walks to within speak- 
ing distance of the seated hostess, and announces the guest's name. The 
hostess rises in greeting, but there is no formal receiving line. 

Sherry and "biscuits" are often served. Occasionally cocktails are served 
before luncheon, but usually the hostess offers an alternative of vegetable 
juice of some kind. 

After all the guests have assembled, the butler or waitress announces 
luncheon. The hostess leads the way with the guest of honor, if any, and the 
others follow along in any convenient manner, with any gentlemen present 
not offering their arms as at a formal dinner. If there are no place cards the 
hostess from behind her chair indicates where each is to sit, with the guest 
of honor at her right. If a host is present and the guest of honor is a woman, 
she is seated, of course, on his right. 

place cards and menus At official luncheons both place cards and menus 
may be used, and place cards at other formal luncheons are convenient when 
more than eight are to be seated. The place cards are placed upon the 
folded napkin, which is, in turn, on the service plate. A menu card, engraved 
or handwritten, is placed in its holder or flat on the table, either one for 


folding of napkins Left: There are many ways to fold napkins (see text), but 
. simplicity is usual now. To dramatize initialed dinner napkins, first arrange 
napkins with loose edges upward on the plate. The fold of the napkin will 
then form the point of a triangle. Now fold over the loose edges to form a 
small triangle above the monogram, then fold under the other two points 
of the napkin to make the arrangement shown. Lay flat on service plate. 
Right: The simple fold of a large dinner napkin. The square is folded over 
left into a rectangle and placed flat on the plate. A small hard roll may 
be placed in the fold or on top of it, or to the left of the forks. 

each place or one for each two or three guests. There should be one before 
the hostess and another before the host if he is present. 

the table Damask cloths are not used at formal luncheons. Place mats of the 
more formal variety, usually white, or an embroidered cloth which does not 
overhang the table are customary. 

There are no candles on a luncheon table, but there are flowers or some 
other centerpiece. Butter plates are used, even at a formal table. Most for- 
mally, the butter is passed, rather than being in place when the guests sit 
down. The butter is in decorative curls or decorated balls or pats, not merely 
sliced off a quarter-pound bar. The butter decorations may be a bit of 
parsley or other herb. Various hot breads are passed during the meal. 

If the table is large, decorative dishes of fruit, candies, or nuts may be 
spaced down the length of the table. A large epergne may contain both fruits 
and flowers, and on a long table the flower motif could be repeated in tight 
little low flower arrangements strategically placed. Sometimes there are 
place corsages for the ladies on some very special occasion, such as a debu- 
tante luncheon. 

The luncheon napkin is smaller than that used for a formal dinner. It is 
folded with an eye to the usual corner monogram (see illustration). It has 
been folded by the laundress in a square. This square is folded into a triangle 
with the embroidery at the top. Then the other two points of the triangle are 
folded in under the napkin, which is then placed on the place plate, mono- 
gram up, of course. The napkin may also be folded in half lengthwise, as it 
comes from the linen supply, so that it forms a neat rectangle. This is 
placed on the place plate with the fold on the left. 



At the formal luncheon no food is portioned or carved at the table but is 
brought in and passed. 

the food As people prefer lighter luncheons today, even a formal luncheon is 
limited to a maxinvim of four courses, more usually three. The food should 
be chosen for its seeming simplicity and deliciousness. Each course should 
balance well against the one to follow. There is expected to be a certain dis- 
tinction about the food for any formal meal, and that for a formal luncheon 
is no exception. Menus are written in French, and the service must be as 
faultless as the linen and silver. 

A possible winter menu for a formal luncheon could be: 

Consomme a la princesse 

Red snapper a la dauphine 

Pommes duchesse salade de concombres 

Fromage de Roquefort 

Fruits assortis 


Usually not more than two wines are served at a formal luncheon, but one 
throughout is correct, too. Sherry, at room temperature, may be served with 
the soup (but not with fish). It may be poured from a decanter by the serv- 
ant, who, however, must not lift the glass from its place. The sherry glass is 
at the upper left of the knives, with the glass for any subsequent wine to 
its right. (See illustration of place setting for the formal luncheon.) A dry 
white wine is served with the fish, and possibly a liqueur after the coffee. 
Champagne, for some very special occasion, could be the only wine, served 
from soup to dessert or introduced with the entree. 

A suggested summer menu for a formal luncheon: 

Bisque d'ecrevisses 

Filet de volaille glac6 a la Perigordine 

Tomate nouvelle farcie Choufleur a la Polonaise 

Asperges froids sauce vinaigrette 

Peches a la creme 


A well-chilled white wine might be served throughout the meal. Sherry 
could be served with the soup, but, as it is fortified, it is not always the best 
choice on a hot day. 


Occasionally there is an official tea or perhaps a large tea for a visiting ce- 
lebrity where the guests are mainly feminine. In these cases, formal tea 
follows a traditional pattern. (See "Debuts" Section for the Debutante 


the table and the lighting The tea table must be large enough to ac- 
commodate two services on trays, at opposite ends of the table, one for tea, 
the other for coffee or chocolate. On the table, too, are placed buffet style, 
the necessary cups, small plates, and silverware as well as the special tea 
foods. The tea table, opened to its ultimate length, may be set in any con- 
venient room to which passage to and from is easy and where groups may 
stand about, or occasionally sit, and have their tea with access to the food, 
which they serve to themselves. (See "Club Teas") 

On the table itself is a white tea cloth, but the trays, usually silver, are 
bare. Each beverage service a large urn is usual for coffee, a samovar good 
for the tea is presided over by a hostess. The tea is set up farthest from the 
entrance, the coffee closest to it. At a large tea the hostess herself often re- 
serves her energies for seeing that her guests enjoy themselves, and she dele- 
gates the actual "pouring" to two friends well-acquainted with the ritual. 
These ladies seat themselves at opposite ends of the table before the trays 
and serve each guest as he appears. The conversation may be limited to 
"Sugar?" or "Cream?" (actually this is, or should be, milk or nearly so, but 
it is usually referred to as "cream"), "Lemon?" In a crush, the guest may 
volunteer this information, and during a lull he may stand by and exchange 
a few courteous words with the "pourer," who despite the honor is prob- 
ably in for a dull period. The guest always says, "Thank you," on receiving 
the proffered cup. It is permissible to return as many times as one wishes 
for more tea, coffee, or chocolate, but one waits until any who have not yet 
been served have received theirs before asking for more. 

Very occasionally at a large tea, the tea, chocolate, or coffee are poured 
at the table but passed by servants on trays. This is not very satisfactory. 
The rule is that the tea should come directly from the hands of the pourer 
to the receiver, that it should be made, if possible, before one's eyes, as it 
was in the days when the kettle came directly from the hob and the guests 
had the pleasure of watching the steam rise and the full fragrance of the 
steeping tea filled the room. 

Of course, if gentlemen are present they may offer to get tea for the vari- 
ous ladies, but a tea is, essentially, a self-service repast, and aside from the 
receiving of the cup from the hands of the tea-maker, guests are expected 
to help themselves to the various things upon the table. 

The room in which formal tea is served is always artificially lighted, with 
the curtains drawn as if for an evening entertainment. Candles, tall and 
white, are most formal and, of course, most becoming. 

the food Tea refreshments are quite different from those served at a cocktail 
party, and it is not wise to try to combine the two. People who love tea 
begin with some simple, bland thing like thin, very fresh bread with butter 
and jam. (For this plain bread and butter the crusts are left on, for sand- 
wiches they are removed.) They may pass on to more complex combina- 
tions, such as watercress sandwiches, chopped candied ginger and cream 
cheese sandwiches, little hot, toasted cheese rolled sandwiches, open-faced 



rounds or crab or lobster mixture on soft white or graham bread the tea 
kind of food, not the cocktail appetizers. 

bidding farewell There is no obligation on the part of a tea guest at a formal 
tea to stay more than the half hour needed to consume his tea. He has 
chatted with anyone taking tea in his immediate vicinity, not necessarily 
introducing himself first if he is a stranger. He has thanked the "pourers," if 
they are courtesy hostesses, as he received his tea, so in leaving he need not 
approach them again. If his hostess is not pouring he seeks her out for a few 
appreciative words in farewell. He also says good-by to the host if there is 
one. If the hostess herself is pouring she does not, in this case, rise to bid a 
guest farewell. She bows from behind the tea table, offers her hand, perhaps, 
smiles, and says a few words. The guest may be shown out by a member of 
the family, but more likely he makes his departure alone. 


The very formal dance or ball at home, frequent in the "season" abroad in 
the great houses, is increasingly rare here because of our telescoping living 
arrangements. Still, in the South, the Southwest, the Midwest, and some- 
times in the Far West there still exist the houses that can accommodate large 
numbers of guests and hosts and hostesses who enjoy giving such elaborate 
parties. They begin late, and invitations state the hour as ten-thirty or eleven 
(rarely on the quarter hour for formal invitations). They really get under 
way around eleven- thirty. (See Correspondence Section for dance invita- 

The exterior of the house is always specially prepared for the occasion. 
A red carpet usually runs from curb to front door and there is an awning. 
A floodlight is on for the convenience of arrivals. The family chauffeur 
assists guests from their cars, and there may be private detectives or a 
policeman to protect arriving, bejeweled celebrities, all most formally attired. 

A caterer and florist have taken over the house. There is a room set aside 
for racks on which coats are to be checked, and a caterer's man in house 
livery gives each guest a ticket for articles checked as he enters. A gentle- 
man accompanying a lady accepts her ticket and, on leaving, collects both 
garments and takes care of the tip (twenty -five cents apiece). In an exten- 
sively staffed house there may be a rack in the ladies' dressing room under 
the supervision of a ladies' maid. In the gentlemen's dressing room a valet 
may be in attendance, but in any case tickets are given. When house serv- 
ants perform these duties they are not tipped in this country unless they 
perform a special service of some kind. 

Guests approaching the line give their names as "Mrs. Smith," "Miss 
Brown," to the butler or announcer as they enter the ballroom, ladies pre- 
ceding the gentlemen of course. Ladies keep on their gloves, as do the ladies 
of the receiving line. Gloves are removed or turned back for refreshments. 
Hostess and guest of honor, if any, stand together receiving until the last 
guest seems to have arrived or until supper is served about one o'clock. 


The host, as at a wedding reception, stays in the vicinity of the line and 
introduces guests to one another whenever his kindly offices seem necessary. 
He may actually stay in the line briefly early in the evening. The hostess, 
too, has had the foresight to invite a stag line of ushers, theoretically one 
extra man to each nine or ten girls, and they wear identifying white bou- 
tonnieres which are usually awaiting them on a tray in the hall. Ushers come 
early and stay late and see to it that there are no wallflowers. 

As extra men are always welcome, those invited frequently phone the 
hostess and ask for permission to bring a friend. If such men arrive without 
their sponsors they say to the hostess on arrival, "George Whitman asked if 
I might come. I am Andrew Tierney." Needless to say, no one, not even a 
friend of a friend, should "crash" any private party. To prevent this, many 
hostesses include in their invitations admission cards which must be pre- 
sented at the door. 

As at all formal affairs, the "roof" is not sufficient introduction. A man who 
has not been introduced to a girl may not ask her to dance, but of course 
he may ask someone to introduce him. An usher may ask a girl to dance 
even if he has not first been introduced, but that is because he is an acting 
host. In going on the ballroom floor a man leads the way through the crowd 
and once arrived stands ready to receive his partner. In crossing the floor 
to leave it he walks on the girl's left. Then, if there is a crush, he goes first, 
as in a restaurant where there is no headwaiter, to the group where he found 
her or to the refreshment table or to her waiting next partner. He never 
leaves her stranded. 

supper At a formal dance or ball, supper is always served either buffet or at 
small tables supplied by the caterer. There are never place cards, and guests 
seat themselves as they wish, usually with friends. A girl's escort always 
takes her in to supper. Ushers see to it that unescorted girls are seated in 
congenial groups with young men who will serve them supper. 

Abroad, sometimes the reception fine re-forms for "good nights" when it 
is time to go. But in this country, after a dance or ball, this might mean that 
the guest of honor, if any, might have to stay on duty until dawn. There- 
fore after the receiving line breaks up at a late affair, it does not re-form. 
Guests say "good-by" to host and hostess if they are still about or to any 
member of the family, and, of course, a debutante stays up until the last 
guest departs. 

At an official ball no guest departs before the guest of honor. The party 
call after balls and formal dances has virtually disappeared, except in 
Washington (but, of course, it always may be made). In Washington guests 
leave cards upon the hostess and host (if a man is calling see "Card 
Leaving") within a week, but even there such calls have become the 
emptiest formality. It is not unknown for even a diplomat to give his card to 
some trusted cabby, with instructions that he leave it at the hostess' door 
within the stated time. He doesn't even necessarily bother to remain seated 
in the cab, himself, any more. (Naturally I can't endorse such a procedure.) 

part three home entertaining 

'at home" 

An "at home" is a formal reception of some kind often a tea, sometimes a 
cocktail party or even an evening reception at which a buffet meal is set up. 
Cards are sent to one's visiting list with the words "at Home" written on the 
face with the date and the time (see page 429 for engraved examples). A 
reply is usually requested. This kind of entertainment is suitable for wed- 
ding anniversaries. 



When a guest receives a formal invitation to lunch or dine he should know 
the procedures of this kind of stylized entertainment. If he knows exactly 
what to expect he can be at ease. It is only the unknown that tends to shake 
our poise. Let us examine the guest's part in formal entertaining. 

When a butler or waitress is serving at table, the persons served pay 
sufficient attention to the service to be ready to take their portions when 
dishes are presented to them (from the left) and, at a crowded table, to 
move aside, left or right, slightly, to aid the service or removal of dishes the 
latter virtually always to the right, except for butter plates. 

second portions At formal luncheons or dinners second portions are not prop- 
erly offered (nor asked for) because of the usual multiplicity of courses. 
But at meals where they are offered, any guest who wishes more may 
serve himself from the proffered dish or platter even if other guests have 
abstained. The hostess then takes at least a token amount to keep him com- 
pany, or she has eaten so slowly as to have a little left on her plate from 
which to eat while any guest consumes a second helping. 

guests do not assist Unless asked to do so by the hostess, a guest does not 
assist in the service of anything at the table while there are servants in 
attendance. He never stacks dishes nor hands an empty plate or glass to a 
servant but permits these to be removed or replenished for him. At a formal 
meal there should be no need for those at the table to pass anything. There 
should be salt and pepper, ash trays, matches, cigarettes (if the hostess 
wishes) at every place, or at every other place. Bread or rolls are passed at 
luncheon, or rolls are in place on or in the napkin at a formal dinner or to 
the left of the plate, if they are served at all. 

smoking at table It is poor manners for a guest to sit down to a table, 
formally set or otherwise, with a lighted cigarette in his hand. At a formal 
table he may well find no place for the ashes or finished cigarette (if the 
hostess takes pride in her cuisine) and will be forced to leave the table with 
his cigarette or ask for an ash tray. At formal dinners cigarettes are usually 
not placed on the table until the dessert is served, if then. 


the placement of used silver is optional either of these two ways best assur- 
ing that the plate, when removed, will have the utensils firmly upon it. 

greeting servants at tarle A guest at table pays no particular attention to 
the servant waiting upon him. He never carries on a conversation with even 
an old family retainer while being served. He may, however, quietly say, 
"Good evening" or "Good evening, Johnson" (or "Nellie") as the butler, 
houseman, or waitress approaches to serve him, if this is the first time he has 
seen him (or her) since entering the house, and then only if he has been a 
frequent guest. 

the token portion A guest takes at least a little of everything offered him at 
a formal dinner or luncheon and makes some pretense at eating it. This is 
done so the attentive host or hostess will not imagine he has been over- 
looked in the presentation of dishes. It is necessary neither to eat every bit 
on one's plate nor, again, to leave a little so as not to seem gluttonous. 

placement of used silver When a plate of food has been finished or the 
diner has had all he wishes, he places the fork and knife (but only if he 
has used one or both) on the right side of the plate, sharp side of the blade 
facing in, the fork tines up, to the left of the knife. They should be so 
placed as not to slide off as the plate is being removed. Dessert spoon and 
fork are placed on the empty plate, as they were when the plate was pre- 
sented, that is, fork on the left, spoon on the right with tines of the fork up 
and facing, with the bowl of the spoon slightly toward the center of the 
plate, and securely enough so they won't fall off when the servant picks up 
the plate. No used silver is ever placed on the table or left in a cup. A soup 
spoon is left in a large soup plate. An iced tea spoon is left in the glass if 



no service plate is beneath. Unused silver at the place is left on the table, 
to be removed to a tray by the servant before the dessert course. 

crumbs and spilled food When there is full service, crumbs and bits of bread 
are left on the tablecloth by the guest and are removed by the servant when 
he or she crumbs the table. But if any semi-liquid, such as a bit of jelly or 
sauce, has been dropped on the cloth, the guest, at the time, if he sees it, 
quietly retrieves it with some convenient utensil butter knife, fork, or dinner 
knife and places it on the side of his plate. If anything is spilled while a 
guest is being served, then the servant attends to it. The guest should make 
no more than a murmured apology, if any, and the hostess should take no 
notice of it except, if necessary, to instruct the servant in the proper proce- 
dure. In the case of a spilled beverage, it may be necessary for the servant 
to remove the place setting and put down a clean linen napkin over the cloth 
or replace the mat with a fresh one. But on either side, the accident should 
be minimized as much as possible. 

presentation of the finger bowl Finger bowls are rarely seen in under- 
staffed or unstaffed households these days, but of course still do make their 
appearance in homes where perfect service is still possible. (It is interesting 
that as early as the thirteenth century silver finger bowls were presented 
with flowered linen towels.) They are filled three-quarters full with coid 
water and placed on the table in either of two ways, one of which requires 
the slight co-operation of the guest. 

If the finger bowl on the dessert plate and, if one is used, decorative doily 
(never paper) is placed before a guest with dessert silver on each side, the 
guest is expected to lift bowl and doily and small glass plate, if any, adroitly 
with the right hand and place it in front and slightly to the left of his place 
setting. He then removes the silver and places it, fork left and spoon right 
of the plate. If the finger bowl is presented with no silver flanking it, this 
indicates that there is no further course and the guest does not remove it 
from the plate. Very occasionally, a small underplate on the dessert plate, 
topped by doily and finger bowl, is intended for use. For example, straw, 
berries Romanoff is a difficult dessert for a flat plate. The menu or the 
hostess gives the cue. 

In using a finger bowl, the guest dips in the fingers of one hand, then ol 
the other, lightly, then dries them on the napkin on his lap, but all so briefly 
as to avoid the impression that this is a serious ablution. He may, too, oi 
course, touch his lips with his moistened fingers, then pat his lips lightly 
with his napkin, which he then places, unfolded and unarranged, to the 
right of his place. He never leaves it on his chair or tosses it onto a plate. 

Finger bowls, even without service, are almost necessary after the serving 
of boiled or broiled lobster or steamed clams. In this case, they are filled 
three-quarters full with warm water, often with a slice or half -slice of lemon 
in it (but only in this instance, though flower petals or tiny blown-glass fish, 
etc., are often used at the end of the meal in finger bowls). 


rHE signal to rise As coffee is not served at the table to gentlemen and ladies 
together at a formal dinner, the guest should be ready for the hostess' signal 
to rise at the end of the fruit course. (See "Service of Formal Dinner.") If the 
gentlemen stay in the dining room for coffee, cigars, pipes, and liqueurs they 
move up in a companionable circle near the host and all stay. For one 
robustious Lothario to make off after the ladies is considered bad conduct. 
And in equally poor taste is the young lady who leaves the gentlemen with 
a reluctant backward glance. Needless to say, if the gentlemen move on to 
the library for coffee no lady allows herself to be persuaded to join them. 
Historically, the stories that are sometimes told at these stag moments after 
dinner are unfit for shell-like ears, and, at any rate, the other ladies would 
frigidly resent such a defection. As insurance, perhaps, against any such 
encroachment on masculine preserves, the doors were locked upon the 
gentlemen after dinner in the early nineteenth century, and it is said many 
never did eventually "join the ladies." 




If you are having people to dinner, mix only one kind of cocktail and offer, in 
addition, sherry, and scotch or bourbon or rye and soda with vegetable or 
fruit juice for possible teetotalers. Old-fashioneds are a nuisance to fix for 
more than four of five. The safest choice seems to be martinis, which have 
the virtue of being relatively inexpensive, more or less foolproof as to con- 
coction, and mixable well in advance. In fact, they may be bottled and 
stored full-strength for a week or more in the refrigerator but don't bother 
to save diluted ones. They may also be varied a tiny pearl onion in the 
glass instead of the usual unstuffed olive makes a gibson. 

A martini should always be dry, never sweet. It should have a twist of 
lemon peel in the container in which the martini is stirred, or the peel may 
be twisted over each glass so a bit of oil drops in. Some experts insist that 
the ingredients be stirred all in one direction with the cracked ice never 
shaken but as I, with many another woman, am unenthusiastic about mar- 
tinis (except for their convenience), I cannot say whether this is really 
vital. I have even seen a very knowledgeable gentleman of the old school 
shake his martinis vigorously, with a loud snort at all the talk that they 
must be stirred. 

A prominentiy placed home bar, with the makings of a wide variety of 



drinks on demand and a host who can oblige, takes away the emphasis on 
dinner and puts it untastefully on what should be only an incidental pro- 
cedure. Only at a really large party should more than one kind of cocktail 
be served at home, and then the host is usually not acting as bartender. 

Esoteric cocktails should be avoided at dinner parties unless you are cer- 
tain your guests have such preferences. An alexander, for example, would be 
a poor choice, especially with men present. Fancy mixed drinks are usually 
frowned on by men, though beloved of some women who like to order them 
in restaurants. But the standard cocktails are the wisest choice and don't let 
the person who mixes them do so without following an exact formula. 
Nothing is so horrid as a martini with too much vermouth or an old-fashioned 
with too much bitters. A bacardi or daiquiri that is sickish-sweet will kill 
appetites for the best-conceived dinner. 

Generally, gin and rum cocktails are preferred in hot weather to whisky 
cocktails. Eggnog is a cold weather specialty and is not served before dinner. 
It is an afternoon drink, always served with fruit cake and sweet biscuits, 
usually on New Year's Day. 

Such drinks as hot buttered rum, glog, hot spiced wine are winter 
between-meal drinks often served after outdoor sports. They do not properly 
precede dinner. 

Rum-and-Cola, torn collins, punch (milk punch perhaps excepted), bishop, 
bowles, swizzles, juleps, spiced wines are afternoon or evening libations, not 
appetizers before dinner. Stingers are served liqueur-fashion as a digestive 
after dinner. 

You make no mistake when you choose one of the following cocktails to 
serve before a dinner party martini, bacardi, or daiquiri (especially in sum- 
mer), whisky sours (good any time and well-liked by both sexes), manhat- 
tans and old-fashioneds (with a minimum of garnish for male tastes). 

Cracked ice easy to make with a canvas bar bag and mallet or a little 
ice-cracking machine makes cocktails cold fast without undue dilution. It is 
preferable to ice in cubes but is not used in most tall drinks. One exception 
is the julep, which requires crushed ice and plenty of it. 


The subject of wines is a fascinating one so fascinating that mountains of 
material have been written on it, thus frightening more than instructing, I 
sometimes think. 

In Victorian days no gendeman of fashion could possibly be ignorant of 
all the fine points of vintage and temperature, vintner and endroit of the 
wines at his table. He kept a proper wine cellar and tended, or had tended, 
each precious bottle on schedule. He knew enough not to permit his butler 
to wipe off a fine old, dusty bottle of, say, Chateau Mouton Rothschild of a 
superlative year and wrap it in a napkin to hide the details of its lineage 
from interested diners. (None but a possibly dripping champagne bottle 


should be served wrapped in a napkin. Red wines never are.) His fine sedi- 
mented wines were kept on their sides at proper temperature and never put 
upright even before service. They could be decanted into beautiful clear glass 
decanters, slowly after the cork had been eased not yanked out until the 
sediment was reached. Or they could be poured from a cradle or wine 
basket that held the bottle almost horizontal so that wine and sediment 
would not mix. Some experts, however, say a sedimented wine may rest 
upright half an hour before serving, if no basket is available. 

The table wines are those served at meals. The reds range from the 
hearty, full-bodied French burgundies (in infinite variety), the more deli- 
cate, ruby red, tart clarets to the blushing vin rose, so light in body that, 
unlike the others which are served at room temperature or slightly warm, 
it is chilled and thus is most agreeable in warm weather. Of the myriad 
American varieties of dark red full-bodied wine, most with French names, 
not all, naturally, are burgundy, though burgundy they are often commonly 
called merely because they are red. I think it is advisable to know a little 
more than that about wines. The major wine merchants are interested in 
improving your wine education. Go to one and ask him to explain to you 
the fine points of difference in the red wines. Compare those pressed from 
the cabernet, the true grape of French clarets, with the delicate bouquet of 
some of the fine table wines from vintners in California's Livermore, Napa, 
Soma, and San Bernardino Valleys. 

dry reds The dry red wines are those whose sugar content is low red chianti, 
berbera are among the many types. These are preferable for service during 
main courses, although sweet red wines, and even some of the sweet sau- 
ternes, are said to be becoming popular in America as dinner wines but 
mainly, I suspect, in the less pretentious restaurants and, I suspect, too, at 
the insistence of the ladies. But people who know food and wines will 
tell you that a sweet wine served before or during a meal takes the edge off 
the appetite and so defeats a dry wine's whole function, that is, to supple- 
ment rather than overshadow the food. 

dry whites It has become acceptable in our more simplified way of living to 
serve one dry white wine throughout a meal, even as an accompaniment to 
red meat. But on a more elaborate basis for dinner it is pleasant and formal 
to serve sherry with the soup, a dry white wine perhaps hock or chablis 
with the fish, chicken, brains, sweetbreads, or seafood, and a dry red or 
sparkling burgundy with red meat, duck, goose, or game. 

At luncheon the one-wine theme is delightfully carried out with an 
alsatian, a moselle, a white chianti, or white orvieto, all imported. Or their 
American counterparts reisling, sylvaner, scuppernong, semillion, pinot 
blanc, traminer, and the Ohio and New York State white wines all merit 
consideration as do the South American rhine types and, of course, the true 
rhines, of which some, like liebfraumilch, are worth much penny-scrimping 
in other directions. 



sweet reds The sweet red wines are dessert and between-meal wines. They 
include port (excellent with nuts and cheese), the sweet sherries (neither 
of which are ever referred to, by the way, as sherry wine or port wine), 
muscatel and madeira. 

sweet whites The sweet white dessert wines include malaga, semidry cham- 
pagnes, white port from Oporto, Portugal (very delicious and not enough 
known), tokay and angelica, an American dessert wine originated in Cali- 

And then there are the delicious homemade wines, white and red, whose 
acquaintance should be made by those gentlemen who enjoy showing off 
their culinary talents. What better way than to learn to make grandmother's 
dandelion, elderberry, or blackberry wine, or even to brew a real, authorita- 
tive ginger beer, English style? Old cookbooks give all the essential 

filtered domestics Some American wines are excellent, some poor just as 
some imported varieties from the wine countries fit into both categories. 
Judicious experimentation is highly recommended so you may find what 
wines suit your needs, your palate, and your pocketbook most adequately. 
Experts tell us that there is less sedimentation in American red wines but 
that this isn't to their credit, as overfiltering to remove the sediment robs 
them of some of their character. 

wines in place of cocktails The true gourmet is horrified at the blatancy of 
cocktails before exquisitely planned and executed meals. He much prefers 
wine with canapes, foie gras, or caviar. Chablis really a French white bur- 
gundyis commendable in place of cocktails, as is a chilled dry (American 
the French ones are sweet) sauterne. Most elegant, of course, is champagne, 
straight if it's the best imported, as a champagne cocktail if it lacks final 
excellence. Any of these, including the champagne, may be refrigerator 
cooled at about 45 for home service, as this is a less drippy procedure. And 
a partly used bottle of champagne or any other white wine, restoppered with 
a different cork will keep for weeks in the refrigerator, and even champagne 
will stay lively for days the same way (and good for champagne cocktails), 
though such refrigerated wines should not be allowed to freeze. 

Partly used bottles of red wine should be recorked and kept in a cool 
place, rather than in the refrigerator. If they start to turn sour before they 
can be used, never discard them but permit them to turn to wine vinegar. 
A little from a bottle of wine vinegar added to leftover dry red wine will 
start the vinegaring process. 

Port, sherry, and madeira are all available dry, as well as sweet, and the 
dry types are all suitable for service in place of cocktails. A good dry sherry 
is usually served from a chilled bottle rather than from the decanter at 
cocktail time. 

Both dry port and sherry are good with bitters orange or Angostura in 
place of a cocktail. Dubonnet and vermouth at room temperature and served 


with a twist of lemon peel appeal to many palates, as does Amer Picon, but 
Dubonnet may be served frappe, i.e., with finely crushed ice in a cocktail 
glass, and the vermouth makes an attractive pompier highball, or vermouth 
cassis, to those who prefer appetizers low in alcoholic content. A vermouth 
cassis is made with 1/2 to 3 ozs. of French dry vermouth (it's the Italian 
that's sweet and which is not good alone as an appetizer) plus 2 oz. of 
creme de cassis (a French currant juice liqueur) plus lump-ice and club 
soda, in a small thin highball glass filled % full and gently stirred. 

In some South American countries a cocktail party is called "a vermouth," 
and vermouth you get no cocktails! 

storage of wines All table wines should be stored on their sides, to keep their 
corks moist (and uncrumbling), in a cool cupboard, away from the light 
and from steam pipes. A wooden wine rack to hold them reduces chance 
of breakage, but they can be placed sidewise on narrow shelves of any kind. 

what kind of glasses You may be the possessor of your grandmother's be- 
nobbed and overlaid green hock glasses or handsome ruby wines and will cer- 
tainly want to use them. But any connoisseur of wines will hold out for the 
use of clear thin glass for all wines, as wine itself is sufficient decoration. 
The table wines should be served preferably in a fairly large glass just under 
goblet size and more than twice cocktail size. They should be shaped to 
bunch the bouquet under the nostrils in other words, the rim should be 
narrower than the base of the bowl with the exception of v-shaped (they 
needn't be this shape any 3-oz. stemmed glass will do) sherry glasses, 
which, by the way, are the only ones to be filled almost to the brim. Others 
are filled about one half or two thirds to permit the inhalation of the bouquet. 
Champagne glasses are best without hollow stems, which are decorative 
but which permit the warming of the drink, as a chilled white wine is always 
grasped by the stem. (Red wine is drunk with the hand grasping the bowl.) 

to decant or not Sherry served with soup or between meals (this the sweeter 
type) may be decanted, though service from a good bottle is always right, 
too. Tequilla, aquavit and vodka (not wines, of course, but served often 
enough straight from the refrigerator, ice-cold as an appetizer) are not 

Claret, madeira, and port may be decanted, though many like the appear- 
ance of the bottle especially if the vintner's name means anything. All but 
the claret (unstopper this, by the way, an hour before serving) are safe in 
the decanter almost indefinitely, though sherry may begin to cloud up if 
decanted and not kept fairly cool. 

Burgundy is not decanted but served from a wine cradle or at least from 
its side if it is an imported, sedimented type. It should be brought into the 
room and unstoppered an hour before serving. American filtered types may 
be served decanted or from an upright bottle. Sparkling burgundy is served 
at room temperature in its <">wn bottle, upright like champagne. In very hot 



weather these wines are served "cellar" temperature, cooler than the room, 
though not chilled. 

White sparkling wines are served from their own bottles, upright and 
slightly cold but not chilled. 

Liqueurs are served at room temperature with the exception of creme de 
menthe (green or white), which is served frappe or in a stinger, though any 
cordial, especially a fruit one, may be served frappe, especially for ladies, 
or for all in the summertime try Southern Comfort or Cointreau frappe, for 

pouring A decanted wine may be poured first into a guest's glass though host 
should check flavor sometime before serving. An undecanted wine, which 
might harbor traces of cork, is poured just a little of it into the glass of the 
host or, if there is no host, into that of the hostess to drain off bits of cork, 
if any. Host or hostess left with bits of cork in his or her glass is not expected 
to finish the pouring on top of cork after others have been served. A servant, 
if present, pours off the bit of wine-with-cork, or if there is no servant the 
cork-receiver may carefully lift out the offending bits with, say, the blade of 
a clean knife or a spoon and lay the bits on the side of his plate. Or he rises, 
glass in hand, and empties the offending inch in the bar or kitchen. 

to prevent spillinc To prevent spilling a drop of wine on the tablecloth when 
pouring from a bottle, give the bottle a deft little twist before lifting the 
mouth away from the glass. The bottle mouth may also be wiped with a 
clean napkin between servings. 


Weddings, christenings, bachelor dinners, engagement parties are always 
occasions for toasts. But there are other occasions formal dinners, anniver- 
saries, birthday parties, intimate dinners where men, in particular, may 
wish to propose a toast. While it is nice to be able to extemporize gracefully 
on such occasions as the rare man can, it is pleasant to know most of the 
standard toasts and to be able to tender them with ease. 

The person toasted, if present and if not the President of the U.S. or 
other high dignitary, usually returns a toast. A woman, except when she is 
a bride, usually accepts the compliment of the toast simply with a smile and 
lowered eyes, remaining seated if the others stand and holding her wine, 
but not sipping it until the toast has been drunk. In fact, the person toasted 
never touches the drink to his or her lips until the others have drunk the 
toast, otherwise he or she would be drinking to himself or herself, an im- 
modest procedure. 

A man drinking a toast across the table to his dinner companion may do 
so merely by catching her eye and raising his glass. He doesn't rise unless 
others are at the table and there is a real occasion such as her birthday to 
propose a toast to the lady. If the two are alone the gentleman may actually 
say the words of some gay little toast, "A vos beaux yeux [To your pretty 


face]" or suggest they drink together "To a wonderful evening" or "To happy 

A dinner chairman at, say, the Democratic National Committee dinner 
would propose the first toast to the President. The President, if present, 
merely remains seated and bows slightly in recognition of the standing toast 
by the others. 

Important toasts, to rulers, to the President, to a bride, etc., are properly 
drained at one drink. The glasses used often to be thrown in the fireplace 
or at least snapped at the delicate stem, but today no dishonor to the toasted 
one occurs when the glasses are, sensibly, left intact. It is, by the way, rude 
to the point of insult to refuse to drink a toast to anyone. If you can't drink 
wine, you pretend to do so. A toast with water is no toast at all. It is not 
really correct to toast with cocktails, but a toast with punch or beer, ale or 
whisky is usual. 

In England some drinks still have a bit of toast placed in them in the 
traditional style. In drinking a toast, one had to drain the cup to get the 
"toast," which, saturated with the drink, sank to the bottom. Toasting is a 
very old custom, indeed, predating the Caesars. 

Many charming toasts to women are in French or other foreign languages 
because toasting is the expected thing abroad, relatively unusual except for 
special occasions here. If you can't master a toast in a foreign language so 
it sounds the way it should, don't attempt it translate it into English, and 
it will be appreciated just as much. But it is convenient to understand what 
these familiar toasts in other languages mean. In addition to the one I've 
given, there are many more, often heard. Commonest are: 
"A votre sante!" (Fr.) "To your health!" suitable for anyone, of course. 
"Skoal!" (Swed.)-"Your health!" 
"Prost!" or "Prosit!" (G.)-"To your health!" 
"Here's to your good health and your family's good health, and may you all 

live long and prosper!" from "Rip Van Winkle," by Washington Irving. 
"May you live all the days of your life !" Swift. 


If all be true that I do think, 
There are five reasons we should drink: 
Good wine a friend or being dry 
Or lest we should be, by and by 
Or any other reason why! 


At a small private dinner a toast may be informally proposed by anyone 
as soon as the first wine has been poured. The company stands only if the 
toaster rises. More than one toast may now be drunk with the same glass oi 
wine though a toast in champagne is often drained at one drink, especially 
at wedding receptions. Toasts are not drunk with liqueurs, although the des- 
sert wines, sweet sherry, port, marsala, or angelica, would be suitable. 



At public dinners toasts are not proposed until the end of the meal just 
before the speaking begins. The first toast is proposed by the toastmaster, 
and others may be proposed with his permission by honored guests at the 
dais but not by members of the general assembly. 



I never fail to be somewhat alarmed at the extent of my correspondence 
from people who want to know how to entertain their guests after dinner or 
luncheon. "What games should we play?" they ask. 

Now an occasional game of bridge, canasta, mah-jongg (which still has its 
devotees), backgammon, or even poker can be enjoyable if everyone is in 
the mood, but certainly I'd like to be warned before accepting an invitation 
to dinner that it is to be followed by serious bridge. I wouldn't want any 
hostess to count on me for a fourth, for I asserted myself concerning ritualis- 
tic parlor games long ago. 

The best after-meal entertainment though is stimulating conversation. Con- 
stant, organized card playing can kill off any attempt at conversation in a 
group of people who regularly see each other. They may have their bridge 
luncheons and suppers for years and never really get to know each other at 
all or get very much out of such meetings. 

Of course, the nervous hostess and the awkward, inexperienced host are 
terrified of just an evening of "conversation." They feel they must do some- 
thing. They rush around filling glasses, dumping ash trays, pulling up chairs, 
fiddling with the radio dials, or, willy-nilly, turning on the television. 

The good hostess is careful to invite people who have some common 
thread of interest. She tries to have one, at least, known to be an eager 
conversationalist. Even if he spends the evening talking interestingly about 
himself, he can save the evening in a group of semi-mutes. People are al- 
ways at their best, anyway, talking about themselves and their experiences. 
The adept hostess knows how to get them going and how, when others grow 
restless, to turn the conversation so that everyone else gets a chance to put 
in his oar. Above all, a hostess should not, herself, feel she must provide all 
the conversation, no matter how witty or erudite or capable at conversa- 
tionshe is. The essence of good conversation is to get others to talk. 



The talk-talk kind of conversation does little but fill time better left unfilled. 
The chatterbox, usually feminine, rattles on very often because she is really 
ill at ease socially and in this way tries to make herself felt. 

In conversation it is not really necessary to have a ready opinion on 
everything. On the contrary, good conversation develops opinions and thus 
depends on an ability to listen as well as to express oneself. 

The bane of every hostess' life is the guest who falls into complete silence, 
who won't be brought into a conversation, but who, on the other hand, re- 
mains in the company. Such people feel shy, superior, or plain tired, I have 
often found, and should not be forced into conversations they are plainly 
trying to avoid. Often they enjoy themselves just listening, or they will 
suddenly come alert and make an interesting contribution later on. 

An ability to converse comes with general social ease. The relaxed person, 
comfortable in his surroundings, is able to parry the conversational ball with 
little assistance. He should be himself and not try to fit his conversation in 
some stilted way to the company. If he finds himself well beyond his intel- 
lectual depth he can be an alert listener and he can ask a question now and 
then. His companions will usually be only too pleased to enlighten him. 

A host and hostess should try to develop skill in bringing out their guests 
conversationally. They should know, or find out, the interests and hobbies of 
each and bring together those with kindred interests. From then on they 
keep the conversational fires kindled by helping the quieter guests to ex- 
press themselves from time to time. 

A hostess should never try too hard to get her party going. If she relaxes 
and lets her guests become acquainted, general and group conversation will 
normally develop. I know one hostess who carried clenched, in one hand, 
a little black notebook containing the tag lines of what she deemed appro- 
priate stories. Whenever a lull came in conversation she would leaf nervously 
through it and come up with a story. She succeeded only in making her 
ineptness as a hostess even more apparent. 

No two evenings of conversation are ever alike, even with the same people. 
An open fire, the preliminary of a good dinner, music perhaps, the little 
ceremony of evening refreshments all help to make people comfortable 
together and expansive. 


Occasionally, however, even the most astute hostess will find gathered under 
her roof perhaps at a birthday party where relatives and friends are of vary- 
ing ages a group of people it is difficult to entertain. In this circumstance 
games are often very helpful as ice breakers. "The Game" is very popular 
even among intellectuals. "Ghosts" is also entertaining. I remember playing 
it when our electric power went off for four days and we wearied of trying 
to read by candle, lamp, and flashlight. Even a spelling bee can be fun in a 



large crowd of young and old. A book of games is probably an excellent 
addition to anyone's home library. 


Good music is often a stimulus to conversation if it is kept in the background. 
If everyone, or nearly everyone, is interested in music, classical or otherwise, 
the hostess may ask if certain records or special programs will be welcome. 
Then conversation may or may not cease. Many a delightful evening with 
friends can be spent with hardly a word exchanged if all are listening to 

Few people can or want to talk against the blare of the radio or the glare 
and chatter of the television screen. If you plan an evening of radio, bridge, 
poker, or television, say so and give any guests who prefer a different 
evening the opportunity to leave approximately one hour after dinner. 


The hostess with a television set should never assume that her guests are 
willing or eager to look at it. It is safer to assume that callers came to talk 
with their friends, not to enjoy their television. They probably have a set at 
home they could have turned on. 

If unexpected guests arrive during the course of a telecast that the family 
is obviously enjoying, the hostess may say, "We like this program and look 
at it each week, so I hate to shut it off, but perhaps you would like to see it? 
If not, let's go into another room and any of the others who care to may 
join us." It is certainly not fair, for example, to drag father away from a 
championship boxing match, if that's what he's glued to, to help entertain 
Mr. and Mrs. George, who just dropped in from the next block. What 
probably happens is that Mrs. George and the hostess retire from the din 
and the two men have their television. 

If the hostess, on the other hand, has television in mind as a means of 
entertaining expected guests, she should tell them so in advance. If they 
consider a whole evening of watching television lost, they have an oppor- 
tunity to refuse the invitation. They wouldn't hesitate to say they don't feel 
like a movie. They may even be quite frank and say, "We hardly ever turn 
on our own set, except for a program or two we occasionally enjoy. Please 
ask us some other time when you're planning something else." 

Guests who do accept a television invitation are ill-mannered, however, 
if once settled they keep up a continuous chatter that prevents the others 
from hearing what's going on. Trying to keep up conversation while watch- 
ing television is impossible. They should be still and look and listen or 
remove themselves thence. 


If it is agreeable to a majority of the guests enough to make up tables 
to play bridge after dinner, the tables are set up as needed half an hour 


or more after coffee has been served. It is always best, when possible, to put 
the bridge players off by themselves in another room if at least half the 
guests prefer to talk. If space permits, the tables can be set up during dinner 
and placed in such a way that it doesn't seem essential for every guest to 
take part. It is quite possible for two or more guests not wishing to play to 
have a pleasant evening by themselves in a roomful of bridge addicts. But 
unlikely, I should say, and of course kibitzing is very dull indeed. The desire 
of the majority decides the evening, but non-participating guests should be 
helped by the hostess to do something they enjoy to listen to the radio, 
read a book or the evening papers, play chess, or take a walk if they must 
stay to tlie end. 

No one should play cards against his own real desire or he will probably 
make a miserable partner. No hostess should worry about a guest who has 
named his preference for evening entertainment. I once had a non-bridge- 
playing friend who spent his evening with me in the kitchen learning how 
to make a delicate dessert souffle, while his wife played bridge with an 
interest he couldn't even feign. 

covers for bridge tables Bridge tables should not be covered during play. 
The surface should encourage the easy deal of the cards. Two packs of 
unused cards, or at least very fresh ones, should be on each table, with a 
score card and a well-sharpened pencil with an eraser. When luncheon or 
supper is to be served on the tables, the tables are then covered with square 
luncheon cloths, preferably in white damask or linen and as alike as possible. 

behavior at bridge My own feeling is that bridge is a game you should play 
well or not at all if the others are skilled players. You may be beautiful and 
witty, intelligent and glamorous, but if you sit down to a table of bridge 
with only a faint interest in and a hazier understanding of the game itself 
you make yourself worse than foolish. Very few people like to teach the 
game as they play. So if bridge is played much in your circle, go to a pro- 
fessional teacher and learn the latest methods. Read the bridge columns in 
your daily paper, and study a good book of modern rules. Don't let yourself 
be persuaded to sit in at a serious game whose progress your own inept play- 
ing will only hamper. 

Not everyone, by any means, has a real feeling for cards. If you are one 
of those that no amount of teaching can improve, let it go. You will not be 
a social leper if you prefer to sit by and knit or read while the others really 
enjoy themselves. It is just as irritating to good players to have someone 
with poor card sense join them just to be agreeable as it is to an excellent 
tennis player to have a halfhearted one inflict himself on a game of doubles. 
You can't be too modest about your card playing. Always state frankly 
whether you are considered a good, middling, or poor player, and let the 
others decide whether to risk you. They, in turn, may very well suggest an- 
other game in which you may be more skillful. Certainly if you are to play 


any card game with a partner for stakes you are honor bound to explain 
your card status, even if you can afford to lose. 

If you do play bridge, be attentive to your partner's signals and exercise 
judgment in taking bids away from him. Even if you are dummy, sit by 
quietly and pay attention to the play. Don't carry on constant chatter with 
the players at your table or with others in the room while you are playing. 

Bridge seems to breed its own disagreeable mannerisms the player who 
"takes all night" to make up his mind which card to play, the drummer-on- 
the-table, the slammer-down of the trick-taking card, the chair-teeterer, the 
whooper who takes loud pleasure in the opponent's defeat or discomfort. 
Then there is the historian who does an autopsy of every game, mainly to 
show how the others would have played their cards had they been he. 
Bridge is no different from other competitive games in that the rules of 
sportsmanship are the same play quietly as well as you can, and win or 
lose without making your opponents feel uncomfortable. 


A host or hostess planning to follow dinner with poker or bridge for money 
should say so when he or she issues the invitation. If a certain number of 
players are actually required and one guest, for reasons of his own, prefers 
not to play for money it can create an awkward situation. 

Few of us like to admit, publicly, that we can't afford to gamble. We 
don't even like to admit that, if we play, a certain limit must be placed on 
the stakes. The danger, in that event, is always that as the heat of the game 
gets us we tend to permit a raising of the stakes with a possibly ruinous 
result. No one should enter any game of chance with the thought that he 
will win. He should, instead, face frankly the thought that he has an excel- 
lent chance to lose, and he must predicate his refusal or acceptance to play 
on that premise. 

It is not good sportsmanship to agree to play for stakes that are 
possibly perilous to you and then be unable to pay off to the winner in the 
necessary, casual manner. Many people as a matter of principle always say, 
"We don't play for stakes," even when they can well afford to lose. If you 
are young people on a budget, play for stakes, if you enjoy the thrill, only 
if you are budgeted for the losses. Never anticipate the possible gains. 

the pay-off If you play for stakes, be prepared to pay off your losses then and 
there, preferably in cash. If you get beyond your depth and can't meet the 
obligation at the game's end, tell the winner when he may expect your check 
in full settlement. And don't make it necessary for him to remind you of your 
obligation. If you don't pay he can't go to law about the debt but he can 
ruin your reputation for decent sportsmanship so that others will be warned 
not to play for stakes with you again. The moral is always: If you can't afford 
to lose, don't play for money. 




There are picnics and picnics. There's the kind you may see at South- 
ampton, with dowagers sitting gingerly under beach umbrellas, the food 
being served by their chauffeurs. On the other hand, a picnic to be a good 
one does not necessarily mean that sand be in your sandwich. But it is more 
fun done in a quite informal, albeit, comfortable style. 

The picnic on your own grounds probably makes use of a barbecue. The 
equipment can be anything from a simple charcoal burner on wheels to a 
handsome barbecue with wrought-iron grills, an oven and a chimney to 
blessedly take away the smoke. Whatever it is, so long as it's fire you can 
depend on the men to enjoy tending it. 

With outdoor cooking facilities it is easy and pleasant to entertain rela- 
tively large groups at home. But, as with buffet, it is important to have a 
comfortable place for guests to eat the food so appetizingly prepared within 
view. A round table is very friendly. Sometimes one can be built around a 
tree well to leeward of the fire. Or a long pine picnic table with benches is 
convenient. An old-fashioned heavy oak or walnut round table with exten- 
sion leaves is easily found at a secondhand shop and rubbed down, painted, 
and waterproofed for an outdoors picnic table. 

The adept-at-picnics hostess uses colorful, partitioned plastic picnic 
dishes or sturdy, waterproofed discardable paper plates, also partitioned. 
They hold food safely and cut down table clutter by making it possible to 
put meat, vegetable, and salad attractively on one plate. And men, I think, 
are more comfortable with such a sturdy plate plus a place to put it. 

While the old stand-bys of hot dogs and hamburgers are perfectly accept- 
able at a picnic, guests are usually grateful, especially if it's a picnic supper, 
to be served something a little more substantial and partyish. There is noth- 
ing better, of course, if the budget permits, than charcoal-broiled steak and 
baked or fried potatoes (these with onions). Charcoal-broiled chicken is 
another favorite. Spareribs, southern style, may be prepared outdoors or in 
the kitchen. Like the chicken, they should be eaten "in the rough." Finger 
food including, of course, corn-on-the-cob is most enjoyable at picnics. 


Automobile picnics with the food eaten by the side of the road while the 
party is en route, or at some planned destination such as the beach require 



special equipment. The confirmed picnicker usually invests in a hamper 
the basket kind is light and long-lived and equips it, or buys it equipped, 
with picnic "silver," plastic or aluminum plates and cups, a vacuum bottle 
or so, and a corkscrew and beer opener. Waterproofed paper bags for left- 
overs, paper napkins, and such are a wise precaution if there is no time to 
burn trash and then to see the fire well out. 

the art of packing a picnic hamper It's an art to pack a picnic hamper with 
the kind of food that makes the picnickers glad they didn't stay home. Cold 
fried chicken or little cold veal or ham pies, English style, make delicious 
out-of-hand eating. Chicken or potato salad in a glass jar combine easily 
at the picnic spot with crisp lettuce which has been brought separately in 
a damp towel and like the other foods mentioned are, to my mind, more 
palatable than a much-traveled sandwich. There are all sorts of good things 
that can be put in picnic jugs and served piping hot hours later spaghetti 
with mushrooms and chicken livers, for instance, or baked beans or even 
thick fish chowder. 

If you are going to a distant picnic ground, it is preferable to take food in 
vacuum jugs and bottles rather than to light a fire, unless specific camp 
sites have been set up in safe places. Or, if there are really able woodsmen 
in your party who can manage a camp fire so it doesn't smoke up the guests 
and ruin the food, be sure every spark is extinguished with water or loose 
dirt before you leave. And obliterate all signs of your presence so others 
may enjoy the woods or beach as you have. 


Eating outdoors in pleasant weather is a delightful and relaxing thing and, 
of course, needn't resemble a picnic in the least. Alfresco meals are merely 
less formal, even when they are served, with fewer courses and those sub- 
stantial ones. A luncheon in the garden, with no picnic atmosphere at all, 
would be set out under the trees or on the terrace table on colorful mats or a 
luncheon cloth, with matching napkins. A first course of tomato juice or 
vegetable juice cocktail might be passed with crisp crackers before the 
guests are seated. Already arranged salads of chicken or lobster and tall 
glasses of iced tea could be in place before the guests take their places. 
The hostess or a servant clears this main course perhaps onto a rolling tea 
table and the dessert is served and passed by the hostess. Even where 
service is available, host and hostess function informally in serving their 
guests and servants are not kept constantly in attendance to spoil the rural 





The street door is opened to guests by butler, houseman, or maid, or by some 
designated member of the family. At a dinner party, for example, in a one- 
servant family it is unlikely that the servant can attend the door as well as 
serve and prepare the meal. 

Whoever opens the door takes the guest's coat and hat and leads the way 
to the living room, stepping back to let him enter. The hostess excuses 
herself to any guests she may be with, rises, and comes forward to greet 
the guest, man or woman. The host comes forward, too, and both host and 
hostess shake hands with the newcomer. This same little ceremony is re- 
peated when the guest departs. 

Often there is an awkward pause in conversation when a new person is 
introduced into the group. Large-scale introductions in which the possibly 
already somewhat self-conscious stranger is introduced to many people all 
at once, and vice versa, should be avoided. Instead, when there are more 
than five or six present, introduce the new guests only to those in his imme- 
diate vicinity, after host or hostess have greeted him. From there on as he 
moves about he introduces himself to those he hasn't yet met, or someone 
to whom he's been talking takes him in hand and presents him to others 
he may find congenial. 

seeing the guest off Whether a servant or the host or some other member of 
family sees a guest to the door, the door is never closed until the guest is 
actually underway, on foot or by car. In apartment houses a servant or the 
host summons the elevator and waits until the guest has entered it before 
closing the apartment door. If a taxi is needed, host or servant phones the 
doorman as the guest prepares to go or asks the elevator operator to see 
that the guest is taken care of. 


A single woman entertaining alone without servants delegates the role of 
host to some male guest a relative or close friend at a party, or if it is a 
party of women and there is no servant to greet guests at the door a friend 



may be asked to do so, so that the hostess will not have to leave her guests 
every few minutes at a large party to go to the door. The friend, if he or she 
doesn't know the guest, introduces him or herself and leads the way to the 
living room. Or if many guests are arriving all at once, the person at the 
door indicates where coats are to be left and guests, when ready, find their 
own way to the living room and greet the hostess before joining any friends 
who may be present. 


If a guest is coming for a visit to the country and the hostess knows the 
time of his expected arrival but has said nothing about meeting the train 
or bus, then the guest is expected to get to the hostess' home by any avail- 
able public transportation. The guest does not phone and ask to be met 
unless some transportation breakdown or great delay has occurred. 

A guest, already resident in the country where transportation is necessarily 
by car, doesn't ask to be called for unless every conceivable way of getting 
himself to the hostess' house has failed. If transportation is really a difficulty, 
the matter should be mentioned at the time the invitation is tendered, and 
the hostess may then suggest that the guest be picked up, either by someone 
else coming by or by the hostess' own car. Or she has the opportunity of 
withdrawing the invitation under the circumstances. Certainly the guest who 
must be picked up and returned by the hostess must be very attractive 
indeed to justify the inconvenience, if it really is one. 


The man, other than a relative, who is asked to take on some of the responsi- 
bilities of host at the home of an eligible woman may open the door to 
guests and see them off, fetch chairs, mix drinks, help serve, and clear 
dishes where there are no servants and, in general, help make the guests 
comfortable. If he does seem very much an intimate of the household in 
this way, there is, possibly, some speculation concerning his exact relation- 
ship to the hostess. To allay such speculation, a bachelor girl may designate 
more than one "acting host" from among her men friends. But if only one 
serves, he is careful to leave with the last guest if it is late in the evening. 
Even if the relationship between "host" and hostess is quite intimate, a 
gentleman must always go to elaborate lengths to avoid anything that might 
appear to be compromising. Even an announced engagement doesn't free 
him of this obligation. 


It is never necessary to make elaborate and lengthy excuses for leaving 
a party. A reluctance to leave should always be shown by one's manner or 


words, of course, no matter what kind of time you've had. One may say, 
seeking out the hostess first, "I'm so sorry but I must leave now. It has been 
such a pleasant evening." If it is still a reasonable hour, your hostess will 
probably reply, "Oh, can't you stay a little longer? We hate to have you go!" 
If you really wish to stay after such urging, do so, but you are under no 
obligation to and may, instead, gently and at least seemingly reluctantly 
go on your way, again without meticulous explanations. Even if other guests 
seem entrenched for the night, your hostess may be silently blessing you 
for your good sense in leaving at a reasonable hour. 

When a man guest wishes to leave early he excuses himself to the group 
in which he finds himself without stating his intention of leaving and, going 
quietly to the hostess, makes his farewell. If saying farewell to his busy host 
might break up the party, he may say, "Do say 'good night' to Fred for me" 
to his hostess. He then is shown out to the street door by a member of the 
staff or some member of the family. If he is an intimate of the family, he 
will probably see himself off. The hostess will go with him at least to the 
door of the living room. 

An early-departing woman guest leaves in the same tactful fashion, 
except that the host or some male member of the family must be summoned 
by the hostess to see her to her car or to a taxi if there is no servant to take 
her in hand after the hostess has escorted her to the living room door. 


the self-invited guest How much responsibility does a hostess have towards 
a self-invited guest, one who drops in without warning at mealtime other 
than at teatime, which is traditionally open house? Aside from exercising her 
usual courtesy, the hostess has no definite obligation toward such a guest. 
She may invite him to stay to the meal, or she may quite unembarrassedly 
not do so if it is inconvenient. If he or she shows no sign of going, she says, 
"I do hope you will excuse us. Our dinner is ready. We're busy this evening 
or I'd ask you to join us. But perhaps some other time . . ." If she gives in, 
time and time again, to these thoughtless people who arrive, I am sure by 
intent, at mealtime, she might as well open a boardinghouse. Of course, there 
is always the exception the quite intimate friend who feels free to invite 
himself or herself occasionally. Life would be dull if all meetings were 
strictly by appointment. 

taking strangers to your friends' homes Another deplorable habit is that 
of taking your own guest or more often several ill-assorted guests to a 
neighbor's home in the evening or at cocktail time without even so much as 
an advance warning. Your guests may be charming people, but your neigh- 
bor may have a headache and wish fervently for an evening to himself in 
the bosom of his family. If you turn up with your crew and he is obviously 
without the slightest excuse to escape you, you have done a thoughtless 



thing. You probably won't even think to offer to leave after twenty minutes 
or so but will make yourself at home by his fireside and with his best scotch, 
no doubt, till far beyond what he hoped would be his bedtime. 

Under such circumstances and with a frequent offender, it is certainly 
justified for the host or hostess to take aside the ringleader in this assault 
on their privacy and say something like this, "It was nice of you to bring the 
Snodgrasses over, but Joe (or Mary) has had a hard day today and there 
are a couple of things we want to go over this evening before I get him (or 
her) to bed. I know you understand and do let us know [hint!] when the 
Snodgrasses visit you again and perhaps we can plan a little something." 

Try to train your friends to call you before dropping in, without or with 
friends. If they wish to bring friends, they should explain who they are. Many 
a difficult situation could be avoided if we could ward off uncongenial 
people in time. 

Suppose Bill Adams next door calls (because you've trained him to do so) 
and says, "Say, Mary, my cousins, the Mears from Philadelphia, are here 
for the week end. I'm desperate. You know what they're like. May I bring 
them over and we could listen to some of your long-haired music. That 
will interest them." You can always say you're busy (no explanation re- 
quired), and how about taking the Mears for a brisk walk or to the movies. 
Given advance notice, you are not required to receive anyone in your home 
you do not wish to see. If they arrive unannounced, you can dispose of them 
in any tactful way after twenty minutes or so by treating them as formal 

inviting a guest to another's party There is practically no excuse for break- 
ing an engagement for a formal dinner party not even the sudden arrival of 
your favorite aunt. Extra women, even attractive and relatively young ones, 
are anathema to the hostess who has slaved over getting a man for every 
woman invited to her dinner. But even a decrepit "extra" male may be very 
welcome to her, so give her a chance to reject or accept him, but, in either 
case, go yourself even if your guest has to spend the evening at your home 
playing cribbage. If he has any upbringing he knows all about the sacred- 
ness of such an engagement, arranged a good two weeks, usually, in advance. 
It is less heinous to ask to have your house guest included in a cocktail 
party, a buffet meal, or an informal dinner, unless you have observed your 
hostess' home to be small and ill-staffed or running under her power alone. 
Sometimes just one extra guest, especially one with nothing in common with 
the others, can put a drag on the best-planned little party. 

If, when you are invited, you know you will have a house guest, give 
the hostess a chance to invite you some other time, instead. Say, "Mrs. Mills, 
I'd like to so much, but that week Aunt Belle will be with me and I'm 
not at all sure she'd fit in." Any hostess with aplomb knows just what to do 
with that opening. Let's hope she means what she says, either way. There 
is little that makes a hostess more ill at ease than the presence of a guest 
she would have preferred not to include. And the guest suffers, too. 


the guests who won't go We all know the sitters. They are trie ones who want 
a nightcap after all sensible people have indicated a desire to call it a day. 
If it's Saturday night with no workday ahead for father, there's little hope. 
But there is one thing a host can do. He can rather pointedly not join them 
in that one more drink. This ought to make them drink up fast but I don't 
guarantee it. 

If the guests really are impervious to all delicate hints, such as the gather- 
ing up of used glasses and ash trays and the host's reluctance to put another 
log on the fire, the hostess can always say, "Joe's been working pretty hard 
lately and I (or the doctor) want(s) him to get plenty of sleep week ends. 
So let's send him to bed now." The inference being that she'll stick it out 
on the sofa if it takes all night. 

There are inveterate talkers and serious drinkers who wont even notice 
old Joe's departure but, usually, this technique works. The one unbreakable 
rule is that the hostess must stay, even though the host, as breadwinner 
presumably, may be excused after a decent interval. The only exception 
is when the guests are house guests. If, as I have mentioned elsewhere, they 
i ire intimate friends, they may stay on in the living room, talking or listening 
to music or playing cards, after their hosts have retired at a relatively early 
hour. But they should not make so much noise as to keep the rest of the 
household awake. Other than intimate friends or relatives take the host's 
and hostess' lead concerning bedtime. 

the guest with a dragnet We are all acquainted with the guest who no 
sooner arrives than he's on the telephone making contact with all his friends 
in the area. While this is permissible within reason, if the guest is from a 
distant point, his attention should be directed to his host and hostess and 
the plans they have for him. He may not invite other friends to call upon 
him at his host's home. He may tactfully mention that he knows someone in 
the vicinity, and if the hostess makes the suggestion herself that the friends 
be invited for some time during his stay, she may invite his friends herself, 
by phone. The guest may speak to them first, then introduce his hostess, 
who extends the invitation. 

Under certain circumstances a guest may be asked to be excused to make 
a brief call in the neighborhood, but he should not involve his hosts in it 
nor ask for transportation. Host and hostess are on duty in their own home 
while entertaining and should not be asked to chauffeur their guests on 
various personal errands. 

Again because a guest must focus his attention on his hosts, he may not 
ask any friends in the vicinity to invite him, with his hosts, to their home. 
An exception might be some one whom his hosts have expressed a real 
desire to meet or whose gardens they would greatly enjoy. A guest then 
might ask permission to call with his hosts. Or if his hosts are new in the 
neighborhood and are really anxious to meet neighbors with whom he is 
well acquainted, the guest could ask his friends to call upon him at his 
hosts', if he feels he will be promoting a mutually attractive future associa- 



tion. The thing to avoid is any suggestion that what his hosts have to offer 
in the way of entertainment is meager compared with what he could have 
at any number of nearby friends' and why not just join up with the friends 
and have a really good time? 

problem drinkers Many of us number among our friends a certain number 
of problem drinkers of whom we may be fond but who are difficult and 
often unpleasant to entertain at home. Where others stop after a social drink 
or two before dinner or in the evening, these people who have the alcohol 
habit to a dangerous degree go right on drinking. How far can a host or 
hostess go in an effort to control the situation? 

In discussing this all too common problem with some of my wisest friends, 
I found that the best course seems to be to consider the problem drinker 
among one's guests right from the start. Bring into the living room or out 
onto the terrace before dinner a cocktail shaker with just enough for two 
drinks for everyone or pass a tray of highballs you have prepared at the 
bar or in the kitchen. Do not place bottles and soda so guests can mix 
their own. After dinner, again pass one highball or possibly two, then lock 
the liquor cabinet and say nothing whatsoever about the possibility of any 
more alcoholic refreshment. The moderate drinker rarely will take more than 
one highball after dinner, if any. The immoderate drinker must not be 
allowed to ruin the evening for everyone else. 

This procedure I have outlined does not, of course, attempt in any way 
to reform the uncontrolled drinker, who has probably arrived sufficiently 
"fortified" so that even these rationed drinks take considerable effect. 

Should others present voluntarily forget alcohol to save the problem 
drinker from himself? I think not. But at the same time no one should urge 
alcohol on someone who is trying to stay within reasonable limits. 

The most agreeable solution, naturally, would be to omit from our guest 
list anyone who is a problem drinker. But, as this is rarely possible for 
business or family reasons, the only thing we can do, as hosts and hostesses, 
is to keep a sharp eye on the source of supply, keep track of each round, 
and lock up all alcohol, including wine and beer, after a reasonable amount 
has been dispensed. 

the obnoxious guest The hostess with any experience avoids asking a guest 
who might well turn out to be a thorn in the side to other guests present. 
If it is necessary to entertain such a burr, she restricts others present to her 
immediate family, whose reactions she hopes she can control with signals. 
She does not take a chance of fitting such an unpredictable guest if she 
knows about him or her into an otherwise intelligently assembled group. 
When it does happen that a hostess finds she has erred in asking someone 
highly and unamusingly contentious to a party, she and the host must spend 
the evening trying to keep the conversation away from explosive topics- 
explosive to the particular guest. If he gets under way, and others are grow- 
ing angry or hurt, the host or hostess breaks in with, 'Terhaps we'd better 


continue this some other time," and then attempts a diverting technique. 
Best of all is to give the arguer something to do. If you have a game room, 
get someone to take him on at table tennis. Or take him for a brisk tour of 
your grounds, ostensibly to show him something, but really to get him to 
work off his aggression physically. If this can't be done, get the troublemaker 
into a card game or get him to show off some specialty of his, magic or card 
tricks, piano playing or tap dancing. A man or woman who feels mean and 
aggressive in company can often be brought pleasantly into the group by 
being permitted to shine in some acceptable way. A clever hostess can say 
in the midst of a heated argument, "Joe, we can't all follow you in debate, 
but I know I'm dying to hear you beat out that boogie-woogie." He takes 
this much better than other methods of shutting him up, because, interrupted 
in the midst of an argument, he can save face by immediately doing some- 
thing to attract favorable attention. 


City apartments and suburban homes are growing ever smaller. Perhaps 
in time there will be no such thing as the overnight guest. As it is now, it's 
a rare house that has a guest room. If the guest gets a room to himself at all, 
it is usually a room ordinarily devoted to sister Susie or to mother's sewing 
and mending. Never planned for a guest's comfort, it seems geared to send 
him on his way in despair first thing in the morning. 

Wherever you tuck him or her, be sure your overnight or week-end guest 
has the following: 

Night clothes, including bathrobe and slippers 

Face towel, wash cloth, bath towel, soap 

Razor, shaving cream, clean brush and comb 

Adequate bedclothes more than adequate if there's any doubt 

A bed light for reading 

Current magazines, a mystery, or any preferred bedtime reading 

Facial tissues, cold cream, toothbrush and toothpaste 

Enough pillows to permit reading in bed 

Cigarettes and ash trays, though put your foot down about in-bed smoking 

Hangers for clothes, including trouser-skirt hangers 

A bedtime snack offer it anyhow but a dish of fruit, a plate, knife, and a 

paper napkin add cheer on a bed table 

the well-appointed guest room If you can set yourself up a permanent 
guest room and are not reduced to tucking the poor guest into the pull-out 
couch in the library or on the sun porch, here are some additional desirable 
attractions : 

A full-length mirror with a make-up mirror, attached or separate, that 
shows the sides of the face 



Free drawer space, enough of it so a week-end guest needn't dress from 

his bags 

Shoe racks and trees, hat boxes or stands, clothes brush, spot remover, 

sewing kit 

Manicure equipment 

A well-equipped shoe-cleaning box 

A plug-in radio 

Writing equipment of all kinds, including post cards 

Hamper or laundry bag 

Drop-down ironing board and folding iron 

Luggage rack and bed tray 

Aspirin, milk of magnesia 

"Don't disturb" sign 

An electric hot pad or hot water bottle 

Scrap basket 

beds for cuests Never assume that a couple who are your guests would prefer 
twin beds to a double bed or vice versa. In planning a guest room from 
scratch it is probably more sensible to choose twin beds, preferably the 
kind with a double headboard so that couples used to the security of 
sleeping in one bed won't feel isolated in twin guest beds. It is thoughtful, 
if you have only a double bed for guests, to ask a couple if they would 
prefer single sleeping arrangements if you can shift things around and 
provide them. Many couples, unused to sleeping in one bed, no matter how 
commodious it may be, spend sleepless nights when so forced to share 
a bed together. 

turning down beds In a well-staffed household it is the duty of the chamber- 
maid to turn down beds for the night. If a party is in progress and the 
guest room or the master bedroom is to be used as a cloak room, it looks 
better, I think, to delay the removal of the spread and the turning back of 
the covers until after the party is over. Then, if the servants have retired, 
the hostess should prepare the guest's bed for the night, although under 
the circumstances a thoughtful guest will attend to the matter himself or 
herself but, please, according to Hoyle. 

A double bed which is to be occupied by one person has the spread 
removed or neady folded lengthwise at the foot of the bed if it is very light 
and won't be a weight on the feet. If it is removed, it is not tossed on a 
chair but is folded neatly to preserve its freshness and to keep the room 
restfully in order. The top sheet, which should extend as much as twelve 
inches Over the tops of the blankets, is turned, with the blankets, in a 
right angle with the center of the bed forming the perpendicular side of the 
resulting triangle. This turn-back should be on the side from which the 
guest is expected to enter the bed. If two people will occupy the double 
bed, turn back the other side the same way, on the other side of the bed, so 
that you now have two right-angled triangles with the center of the bed 


a common side. This makes a neater effect than does the more usual method 
of simply turning back the coverings half way down the whole bed. 

The pillows, which have been pressed into a roll under the bedspread, 
should be plumped up and resettled on the bed with the borders to the 
outside edges of the bed, seams toward the center. If a bolster has been 
used, it should be removed and sleeping pillows substituted. If you have 
a closet or chest in which to place unneeded bedding for the night, you 
will help create a restful atmosphere by getting the bolster out of sight. 
If you use a day bed, try to create space in drawers, closets, or built-in 
ends to house the box spread and the cushions, so that they may be kept 
out of sight during the time the bed is used for sleeping. 

shades When a bedroom is prepared for the night by a maid or someone else it 
is usual for shades or Venetian blinds to be drawn sufficiently to shut out 
the morning sun if it strikes that side of the house. Many people have them 
drawn because the coming of daylight disturbs their sleep. However, this 
depends much on individual sleeping habits, and a new employee who is 
expected to prepare bedrooms for the night should be instructed on the 
family's preferences. Shades in guest rooms should be drawn when the 
bed is prepared for the night as a matter of course. Or if all the house 
shades or draperies are drawn at dusk, as is necessary in crowded com- 
munities, the guest room has its shades drawn then if it is to be occupied. 
In the country where a house is off by itself and the neighbors and 
passers-by can't look into the windows, shades, blinds and even draperies 
and curtains are often dispensed with except in bedrooms and bathrooms. 
Awnings or sometimes Venetian blinds, which ordinarily are kept tightly 
tied at the top of the window, keep out unwanted sun as necessary, but 
the modern tendency in decoration is to include the outdoors as much as 
possible in your interior decoration if the view is worth anything at all. It 
is certainly not necessary to curtain all your windows with the traditional 
glass curtains and draperies if in so doing you are shutting out a clear view 
of your garden and keeping out needed natural light. Wherever possible, 
instead, keep the whole window expanse free so the window may perform its 
purpose of admitting light and air. Of course, if a window faces a blank 
wall or overlooks a dump yard or alley, the more you shroud your windows, 
the better. Light, airy (never skimpy) organdy, marquisette, or other sheer 
glass curtains draped to frame rather than cover a window or group of 
windows can be very effective in the right surroundings, but never feel 
obliged to curtain your windows these days unless the curtains are really 
necessary. If a downstairs window does not need to be covered most of 
the time, it may not even need an ordinary shade or a Venetian blind if it's 
on the north or east. Morning sun, even in the summer, is usually cheerful 
and desirable in a house in most climates. 

the length of draperies and curtains Sheer glass curtains used to cover a 
window usually look best when they end at the sill if they are to hang 


straight. If they are to be looped back under draperies they look better 
when they are the same length as the draperies. Draperies of chintz or 
heavier material used with or without glass curtains do not necessarily have 
to be floor-length at all but in an informal house may come just to the win- 
dow sill and may or may not be looped back. It is convenient, if you can use 
enough material, to make heavy draperies really usable so they can be 
pulled over windows. In cold climates such curtains can be real fuel savers 
when used this way at night. But hang them so they don't obscure light, if 
light is available, or the view, if it is pleasant. 

Modern decorating practice even approves draperies that differ in length 
in the same room. For example, they might go to the floor on most windows 
with a little extra to drape gracefully on the rug, but at a big window- 
seated bay window they might come just to the sill. Or where a radiator's 
placement might make an ugly bulge under the draperies on one window, 
they might be kept short there, long elsewhere in the room. It is also quite 
acceptable to use draperies and, perhaps, glass curtains on some of the 
windows of a, perhaps, many-windowed room and glass curtains alone or no 
curtains or drapes at all on others in the same room if the use of them 
would give an overcurtained, fussy effect, especially where bold chintzes are 
used or where the view is so lovely it needs only the simplest framing. 

suest houses Guest houses vary in size and facilities all the way from the one- 
room pine shack to the five-room house complete with kitchen and oil 

Never put a guest off by himself in a primitively equipped guest house 
unless you are sure he has everything such as extra blankets, drinking 
water and at least rudimentary toilet facilities to make him relatively com- 
fortable. Don't introduce a city-dweller to a guest house heated by a wood, 
kerosene, or coal stove without fully instructing him on the management 
of it. Otherwise he may asphyxiate himself with a coal stove, burn the house 
down with the wood one by building too hot a fire or allow a kerosene stove 
to smoke. Always equip your guest house with one or more fire extinguish- 
ers, anyhow, and show the guests their location and how to use them. Be 
sure to buy the right kind of extinguisher, discussing with the vendor just 
where and under what conditions it may have to be used. 

A small guest house equipped with bowl, pitcher, and pot de chambre 
may, from time to time, be occupied by more than one guest, so provide 
whatever privacy is possible a screen or a curtain for the lavatory section. 

If wood fires are used in fireplace or stove remember it takes a little 
time in the morning to get them going, especially if a guest is not very 
familiar with such routines. An auxiliary heater such as a small kerosene 
stove or an electric heater will be convenient if it is placed close enough to 
the bed so that he can warm the room before he puts his feet to the floor. 

Kerosene stoves need very careful handling and so do oil lamps. Never 
assume that a city guest knows the perils of them he may not even know 
how to extinguish an oil lamp or even how to light it. If he needs a night 


light in a guest house that has no electricity, it is safer to let him burn up 
the battery of a small flashlight than to suggest he leave a lamp or candle 
burning. Every guest house dependent on non-electrical lighting should, in 
any case, have a good, preferably large, flashlight for emergency use and to 
light the guest back and forth if the grounds aren't illuminated. 

If you live far off in the country dependent on a volunteer fire depart- 
ment for protection, always warn city guests of any possible fire hazards, 
especially if they are to be quartered off by themselves. City-dwellers, used 
to flipping lighted cigarettes out of high windows (which they shouldn't 
risk, either) often do the same out of country house windows, never think- 
ing of the peril or possible grass or woods fires or, at least, the disorder to 
gardens and walks their discarded butts bring. 

IF you live in the real country Country living often has specific problems 
that should be promptly explained to guests aside from the matter of 

If your hot water supply is limited, for example, it is important to explain 
that to a week-end guest so he won't waste water by taking overly pro- 
longed showers or letting the water run while shaving, for example, as he 
might in the city. 

If you have a septic tank or cesspool, you need to explain that insolubles 
such as facial tissues and cotton should not be thrown into the toilet bowl 
but should be placed in the paper-bag-lined wastepaper basket you have 
provided in each bathroom. If the guest is going to help around the house 
during his or her stay, explain that with such plumbing facilities a minimum 
of such household aids as ammonia and chlorine must be put down the 
drains because they inhibit the necessary growth of bacteria in the tank, 
bacteria which in turn consume the waste and make it unnecessary to have 
a septic tank cleaned out more than every few years and that's an expensive 

If you are turning a country house (or even your city home) over to 
a guest or guests, even for so short a time as overnight, don't imagine he will 
know exactly what to do in the event of an emergency. Suppose there is a 
power failure, or the telephone wires go down in a storm, or the furnace 
goes out, or the oil burner breaks down? What if he needs a doctor or the 
police or the firemen? At all times, every home should have prominently 
placed near a telephone the following information to aid family, servants, 
and possible guests in-charge in case of an emergency. 

instructions in case of emergency Fire: Pick up phone. Say "I want to 
report a fire." (Or use the the firehouse number, if given.) You will be 
connected with the nearest firehouse. Give your name, the exact address- 
floor and apartment number, if any and the nature of the fire, general, 
localized, stove, or whatever the origin may be, if you can determine it. 
The fire department may be able to instruct you on what is to be done 
until they get there. 



If there is no phone available, run to the nearest fire alarm (explain its 
location). Pull it and stay there, or have someone else do so, to give the 
firemen the address when they arrive. 

Fire Extinguishers: Explain their location in your home and how to use 

and on what kind of fire to use specific ones. 

Police: Pick up phone and say "I want the police." Speak to the desk 


Doctor: List your various doctors pediatrician, if any, general practitioner, 

your dentist, and your veterinary if you have pets with their addresses and 

telephone numbers. 

Plumber: 1 List name and phone 

Electrician: 1 List name and phone 

Repair Man: 1 List name and phone 

Laundry: List name, address, and phone 

Dry Cleaners: List name, address, and phone 

Tailor: List name, address, and phone 

Beauty Parlor: List name, address, and phone 

Household Employment Agency: List name, address, and phone 

Drug Store: List name, address, and phone 

Liquor Store: List name, address, and phone 

Names of People to Call in an Emergency: Explain who they are 

Husband's Business Address and Number 

Wife's Business Address and Number if any 

School Address and Number 

Fuse Box: Give location in house and place where extra fuses are kept. 

At the box itself, have a diagram of what fuses serve what rooms and 

utilities. Instruct servants and members of the family on how to change 

fuses. It is frequendy impossible and certainly unnecessary to summon an 

electrician to perform so simple a service. 


invitation and reply for a wkek-end visit In extending a week-end invita- 
tion it is very necessary to be specific about the date, the time you are ex- 
pecting the people to arrive, and whether or not you will be able to meet 
them if that is necessary. In replying to a week-end invitation it's a good idea 
to mention both the time and date of your arrival so that no misunderstand- 
ing is possible. 

August 3rd 
Dear Nell, 

Will you, John, and the children spend the week-end of the 21st with us. 

*If your city home has a superintendent he may be in charge of these matters. 
If so, list his name and apartment number. 


There's a train that leaves town at 12:30 which we plan to meet. We'd be so 
happy to have you. 


August 5 
Dear Molly, 

We'd love it. Count on us on the 12:30 on the 21st complete with children. 

As ever, 

Let's take the country hostess, in this case, who plans to have guests for 
the week end. Unless she runs the equivalent of a hotel, it is vital that 
she know long before the week-end just who is coming and when, so she 
may apportion her beds and plan the entertainment. If everyone says airily, 
"Oh, I'll call you Saturday morning," or "Let's see what the weather's like 
maybe we'll be out," she may be left high and dry with one lonely 
bachelor and a large leg of lamb on her hands or she may be flooded with 
guests because of the sunshine and have to make one small chicken do 
for Sunday dinner. In the real country there is no such thing as a delicatessen 
open twenty-four hours a day and not everyone has a freezer, especially 
not people who, themselves, go to the country only on week ends. So, then, 
the first requisite of the guest is that he respond to his invitation promptly 
and permanently and be specific as to when he'll arrive. To accept and then 
later turn down an invitation to the country because of a cloudy sky is to 
belittle your hostess's ability to entertain you, no matter what the weather. 
Or it shows that you are more interested in the terrain than the people. 

arrival and departure The hostess herself should suggest the time of the 
guests' arrival and any guest or guests who can't make the train or bus in- 
dicated should at least offer to get themselves from the station to the host- 
ess' house by cab. Otherwise the host, hostess, or, if he exists, the chauffeur 
may have to make countless trips to the station where one would have done. 
For the same reason, the hostess, who is herself run by the railroad's time- 
table if she's a country dweller, can certainly suggest the time of the guests' 
departure so that all can make the same train in something less than break- 
neck speed. Any guest who drives himself to the country week end and 
removes himself the same way is doubly blest if he offers to bring and return 
other guests from his own bailiwick. 

gifts to the hostess If you are a frequent guest at a home, you are not ex- 
pected to take a gift to the hostess each time, but on the first visit for a week 
end it is thoughtful to do so. And throughout the year, if you go often, take 
an occasional gift. This gift need never be elaborate or expensive. In fact, 
if it is obviously beyond your means it will embarrass everyone. Many 
women are pleased if you take some small gift to the children rather than 
to them. Children are so often pushed aside by all the grown-ups on week 



ends this little sop to their presence is helpful maybe a box of lollipops, 
modeling clay, a game, or a soap bubble set. 

Men, in particular, seem to be at a loss as to what constitutes a suitable 
gift to a week-end hostess. Taking her flowers is often like carrying coals to 
Newcastle, but if she has a collection of house plants she will always be 
pleased to have one more. African violets, geraniums, especially the rarer 
ones such as rose or lemon, begonias, that charming little plant, the pick-a- 
back (that should always be watered from the saucer beneath it, like all 
fuzzy -leafed ones), or a hydrangea are all welcome. An original gift in the 
early fall is a dozen or so tulip or narcissus bulbs. Go to a good seed store 
and buy the best varieties and be sure you know the color so she can plan 
her border accordingly. You may not know a daisy from a cactus, but you 
can get all kinds of agreeable information on gifts suitable for your country 
hostess, if you will describe her garden to the man at the florist shop, green- 
house or seed store. At the moment I can think of nothing nicer than a spring 
week-end guest arriving with a few pansy plants to set out in the annual 
border. They wouldn't cost as much as the usual fancy box of chocolates 
and would give pleasure for weeks to come. There are estates you might 
visit, however, that have their own greenhouses, and their own corps of 
gardeners might think you presumptuous if you turned up with a box or 
two of pansies and might let them wither, out of sheer spite, behind the 
carriage house. 

Thinking up a gift for such a hostess, for one who seems to have every 
material thing, is always challenging. There's little use just buying some- 
thing expensive. Anything you might think of she probably has. In such a 
case, I usually fall back on gourmet foods, things like imported English 
ginger beer, a smoked turkey, Stilton in port, or a brace of partridge. For 
some reason, people who have all the money in the world to buy any food 
they wish esteem such rare and relatively expensive specialties. A hostess 
may have a famous cellar but she will love you extra well if you turn up 
with a dusty bottle of fine champagne or one of Lacrima Christi. 

In every well-appointed household things are always wearing out or get- 
ting broken. If you're an observant person, note well what a house needs 
if you are a frequent visitor. Perhaps the bar could stand a more efficient 
bottle opener or corkscrew in fact, extra ones are received with joy in most 
homes. If the summer season is coming on, maybe a dozen or even half a 
dozen commodious beer glasses will anticipate eventual breakage of those 
in current use. Maybe the place could use a little bird house or a bird feed- 
ing station, some large ash trays, pretty aprons who ever has enough? 
a poultry shears (for the host's convenience in carving especially duck), 
or some cocktail napkins. Gay books of matches in quantity, and with the 
covers initialed or not, fit in anywhere. Some of the things you can get in 
stationery departments make pleasant gifts memo pads for the kitchen or 
the telephone stand, office-style pencil sharpeners (wonderful for a boy's 
room or a study), those lovely Swiss, floral post cards or thank-you notes, 


paints and crayons for the children or their art-yearning elders. Gifts of 
books are good if you are sure of your hostess's reading taste. The latest 
novel, chosen for its hot-off-the-griddle quality and nothing else, may just 
offend her sensibilities. A non-fiction book on some subject that interests 
you may bore her. If she's an enthusiastic cook, she can never get enough 
cookbooks. If she gardens, the newest gardening book will always interest 
her. If she loves music, a symphony she doesn't already own or some un- 
usual records European or South American imports or new pressings of 
Caruso may be fine. 

Think twice before you take your hostess something that will just clutter 
up her house and which, because of your frequent presence, she won't be 
able to tuck away or, in desperation, discard. Many of these white elephants 
grow in gift shoppes. Be careful in choosing pictures or actual furnishings for 
another's house in fact, I wouldn't do it unless I had the hostess with me. 
The bathroom suggests many suitable little gifts big, fragrant cakes of 
bath soap to a friend you know very well, luxurious little guest cakes of soap 
(I remember some shaped like succulent strawberries that once delighted 
me in someone's powder room), bath salts and bath mitts, if they are not 
from the bargain counter in a drug store but are, too, in the luxury class, 
bath cologne, bubble bath, or a pair of hand-embroidered guest towels in a 
color that will blend with the bathroom's color scheme or in good, safe white 

A thank-you gift may be sent, of course, after your visit. It is sent either 
to the hostess or jointly to the husband and wife, but separate gifts to hus- 
band and wife are never sent except by a very intimate acquaintance if the 
sender is a woman. 

If you are a guest in the country you can give yourself instead of a money- 
costing gift and be blessed for the thought. You can arrive with the news that 
you would like to rake the leaves, help build the rock garden, mow the 
lawn, or clear the brush if you know any of these activities are on the cal- 
endar. In a help-short household you can offer to get a meal if your talents 
lie in that direction, paint a boat, take the children on a picnic, do odd jobs 
around the house, or wash the car all this, of course, if you know your host 
and hostess well enough to take official notice that these things are in need 
of being done if someone just had the time to do them. I don't mean to sug- 
gest that you should imply in any way that the lawn's a mess, the meals 
terrible, the children underfoot, the house and its accouterments falling 
apart from lack of attention, all of which may be quite true. 

Whenever you offer to do any such personal things, you must do so with 
great diplomacy, giving the idea, if possible, that the suggestion that the 
things should be done by someone came from the hostess or host themselves. 
For instance, if you're a woman or one of those rare males who can get a 
good meal without wrecking the kitchen and calling for a score of helpers- 
say something like this, "I think you said Ida would be off Sunday afternoon. 
Let me get Sunday night's supper, won't you? I've found out where I can 



get some good clams for a chowder." If you want to put on an epicurean 
feast that will make more work for the hostess in the getting of ingredients 
she doesn't already have in the house, your offer may not be received in too 
grateful a spirit unless you fetch the missing things yourself. 

what clothes to take The good guest arrives on time and knows, or quickly 
finds out, when he should leave. If he doesn't know the customs of the 
household and neighborhood he's visiting, he should find out in advance 
what wardrobe is expected of him. Find out if you are to dress for dinner, 
if you will need tennis, golf, riding, or swimming outfits. It is sometimes 
possible for a hostess to equip a guest for these various activities out of the 
family wardrobe and game closet, but she prefers to have you come 
equipped with your own things. 

The size of the house and the bank account of your host are no indication 
at all of how his family entertains in the country. On some large estates the 
entertainment may be quite formal, with dinner jackets and dinner dresses 
the expected thing every evening except Sunday. On the other hand, taking 
a cue from the host and hostess, the guests may wear sport clothes all day 
and continue to wear them at dinner, fresh clothes preferred, of course, but 
still sport clothes sweaters and skirts or slacks or flannel, wool, silk, gabar- 
dine, or cotton sport dresses for the women, slacks and sport jackets for the 
men. It is not "correct" to sit down at anyone's table in the evening in such 
informal attire, but in many, even elaborate, country homes it is an accepted 
and comfortable custom. 

But how do you find out what to bring? You ask your hostess or your host 
by phone or by note when you accept the invitation, "Will I need my dinner 
jacket?" or, for a woman, "Should I bring a dinner gown? What are you 
planning for us shall I bring along my tennis racket, my swimming or rid- 
ing things?" When, for some reason, it isn't possible to ascertain these things 
in advance it is better to be safe than sorry pack dinner clothes, take your 
tennis racket or your skis, as the case may be. Men should take a dark suit 
for dinner, if tuxedos aren't worn but slacks won't do. A woman should take 
at least one dinner dress for the week end and one or two non-sport-type 
dresses suitable for dinner. It is better to have your clothes a little on the 
formal side than overly casual. I am thinking of a suburban dinner party 
I once attended where the men wore dark suits and the women appropriate 
silk dresses. One male guest, a well-known "character" about town, came to 
the table without his coat and sporting bright red suspenders. His theatri- 
cally casual appearance may have been forgiven by his hostess, who knew, 
and was amused by, his idiosyncrasies, but to the others who didn't recog- 
nize his peculiar genius he was boorish. 

rules of behavior The rules for country and city week ends are about the 
same. You are prompt for meals, you let the hostess plan the activities and 
you fall in with those plans as well as you can. If she projects a long walk 
and vou are a poor walker, she will understand if you prefer to stay home 


with your book. If you are the only guest, she will counter with a more 
suitable activity you can share with the family or maybe, mercifully, she'll 
take them on their brisk walk and leave you in peace. 

I am an advocate of the English style of entertainment I don't believe 
in the close organizing of guests' activities but like to let them entertain 
themselves in whatever manner that pleases them most. If they want to sit 
up listening to recordings with other congenial guests until four in the 
morning, I feel no compunction against going to bed myself and telling 
them to enjoy themselves without me. If they prefer to lie in hammocks, 
sleep late, or read in the garden instead of attending the hunt breakfast or 
the Yankee Doodle Fair, it's all right with me, so long as the entertainment, 
whatever it is, wasn't planned especially for them. If they turn up for meals 
on time or skip them entirely (if they don't request sustenance at odd 
hours although they are free to raid the refrigerator), I am quite happy. 
But I realize that more rigid hostesses might be put out, to say the least, by 
a guest who felt so much at home as to say he wanted to sleep late or go 
to bed early. She couldn't leave him, with good conscience, to munch an 
apple during his sun bath while everyone else went blueberrying. She might 
even feel forced to stay home with him or make everyone else go sun-bath- 
ing to keep him company, which, alas, was not at all his idea. 

There are people who can't stand having their leisure time organized to 
the nth degree and I am one. And the hostess who works so hard at keep- 
ing every guest unremittingly busy having a good time is usually so tense 
and full of drive she spoils everyone's fun. On the other hand, someone has 
to be at the helm, to see that everyone is comfortable and that entertainment 
of some kind is at least available, to keep down domestic insurrections by 
getting people to the meal table on time to keep souffles from falling and 
hollandaise from curdling. Why is it that, despite adequate warning of the 
approaching dinner hour, all men disappear "to wash their hands" the mo- 
ment dinner is announced while the soup and the ladies' heels cool? 

greeting servants If you are a familiar of the house you are visiting you may 
say, "Good afternoon, Perkins," to the butler or houseman who opens the 
door and greet by name other servants you recognize if you wish. House- 
men and butlers are usually addressed by their surnames, chauffeurs prefer- 
ably by their surnames but often by their proper names (never nicknames). 
Maids and cooks are "Ella," "Katherine," or "Katie," whichever they prefer, 
although in some formal households the woman servants are called, English 
fashion, "Murphy," "Keene," etc. Chinese men servants are called by their last 
names, which, Chinese fashion, are always given first. A man who tells you 
his name is Fu Wang expects to be called Fu, his last name. Housekeepers 
are often dignified by being called "Mrs. Jackson" or "Miss Lang" by the 
staff and their employers, as is the cook, very often, in a house with a large 
staff. To the staff the butler is always "Mr. Perkins," for he is the household's 
executive officer. A chef is "Chef" or else is referred to by his surname alone. 
A French chef is usually "Monsieur Robert" (his first name). 



professional people in a household A registered or practical nurse, is, 
preferably, "Miss Cranford," never "Mildred," though sometimes "Nurse," 
especially if visitors don't know her name. A governess, tutor, or companion 
is "Miss Romano," "Mr. Robertson," "Mrs. Grayson," and a social secretary 
is accorded the same courtesy. 

In many long-established country communities where a small household's 
help is drawn from neighboring homes, employees (more often in the 
"mother's helper" or housekeeper category than not) are frequently called 
"Mrs. Willis" rather than "Mary," because the calling of such neighbors 
"Mary" would encourage the use of the employer's first name by the em- 
ployee or else make the employee feel herself to be in a class socially to 
which, in the eyes of the community, she does not belong. 

Tenant farmers are "Mr.," though a hired hand or handy-man gardener 
may be "Peter." A full-time or visiting professional gardener is "Mr. Swen- 
son," not, usually, "Ole." 

how to infuriate your hostess Bachelors, no matter how attractive, seem 
to bring with them on week ends somewhat heinous faults. While the things 
I'm about to discuss seem rather masculine failings, they are by no means 
entirely so. Many a non-housekeeping or just thoughtless girl can set a 
hostess' teeth on edge the same way. For instance: 

Using cups, dishes, and decorative ornaments, not meant for ash trays, as 
ash receivers or throwing dead cigarettes in the dregs of tea, coffee, or 
cocktail. If the hostess hasn't put ash trays on the dinner table it is probable 
that she prefers to have you smoke after you leave the table, but if you feel 
very much at home you may ask for an ash tray but please wait until des- 
sert has been served, even if ash trays and cigarettes have been provided. 
Smoking throughout the meal is messy and an insult to the cuisine. It seems 
to indicate a background of lonely living. Good talk and good food should 
be comfort enough. When you do smoke at the table, ask permission of the 
hostess first unless she is smoking, too. 

Leaning hack on the rear legs of your chair. If your hostess owns antiques 
she hates you doubly for this. Do it, at the risk of your neck, with the 
kitchen chairs or garden ones, preferably those of cast iron, but sit on the 
others as they were meant to be sat on. 

Putting your shod feet on the bed or on an upholstered chair. There are 
times, places, and rooms where feet may find some level other than the floor, 
but watch where you put them and let the house owners lead in any such 

Flicking ashes onto the floor, into vases, and into the fireplace, followed in 
the latter case by the butt, sans doute. If you don't see enough ash trays 
around, ask for one, don't improvise. The fireplace, lighted or not, that is 
turned into a garbage incinerator by the guests is not exactly an attractive 


Using the table silver for purposes other than that for which it was intended 
drawing on the tablecloth, opening clams. Now that isn't at all farfetched. 
One of my best silver knives bears the ineradicable scars it received while 
being used as a clam opener by a guest who got a steamed clam that hadn't 
unhinged itself in the cooking process. I had it resilvered but the deep marks 
can't be removed. 

Standing on the furniture to reach something. Every well-equipped house- 
hold should have a kitchen step-stool. Your full weight on the loveseat 
springs (and by the way, don't sit on the arms of chairs no matter how 
tender your motives) may cause them to collapse in despair at such treat- 

Leaving the bathroom in a mess. Not every household has a chambermaid 
lying in wait for you to emerge from the bathroom so she can tidy up after 
you. In there somewhere, perhaps under the basin or in a cabinet, is a can 
of cleanser and a cloth or brush for cleaning the porcelain. Use it instead 
of leaving a childish ring in the bathtub. Men should clean the basin too of 
their shaving lather and bits of beard (run the soap under the water, too, to 
clean it of lather). 

If you have been provided with a towel rack in the bathroom instead of 
in your room, use it, folding the bath towel first in three, lengthwise, then 
neatly over the rack. If the rest of the towels are folded in another manner, 
try to duplicate it. If you are using a guest hand towel, discard it in the 
hamper if one is available or refold it neatly and lay it somewhere to be 
discarded. Don't leave used towels and washcloths thrown around the bath- 
room or draped over the bathtub or basin. This makes the room unpleasant. 
Leave it as you found it or better (if you have been preceded by a guest 
who has never been told these things). 

Disciplining the children. Never reprove a small child in front of its parents 
let them do it if they deem it necessary. Child-raising methods are differ- 
ent now than those to which you were exposed yourself, very probably. If 
you don't like children, see your friends away from their home or wait until 
the children are somewhat grown before you week-end. Happy, healthy 
children must make a certain amount of NOISE. If you can't take it or the 
family can't isolate it, stay home. 

Giving orders to servants or disrupting them in any manner. If you have 
been told that Mary will be glad to help you in any way, give her something 
to press, if it's unavoidable, but remember all guests make extra work for the 
household. If it's a one-maid household and you know how to press, ask 
to use the ironing board yourself, but never when the kitchen is in an up- 
roar. A good rule is to keep out of the kitchen unless you've been invited in. 
Many a good cook has left in a huff because a guest has made a highhanded 
invasion of her sacred domain to show her how real tea should be made or 
to tell her, in a friendly way mind you, what's the matter with the coffee. 



Some people really do things like that. Be even more polite to servants 
than to your friends. Rudeness to those who have much less than we have 
is the mark of a person who was not raised with privilege. The good people 
of this world are born with a kindly understanding of others' problems and, 
no matter how they prosper materially, treat everyone else, especially do- 
mestic employees, in a decent democratic manner without being either 
condescending or overfriendly. While servants want to be treated in the 
same way as any other kind of employee, they often resent the jocular, 
personal remarks sometimes made by guests usually the male ones. Any 
servant will enjoy an appreciative word about his or her work, a tip for 
extra consideration, an occasional personal gift from a frequent visitor never 
liquor but cigarettes, candy, toilet water, playing cards, a mystery story, 
writing paper, and hosiery (from a woman only) are all good choices. 

Strewing papers, turning down book leaves. If you are reading the papers 
especially those monster Sunday papers in the library, living room, on the 
lawn, sun porch, or in your bedroom, for goodness' sake keep them neat. 
When you finish, put all the sheets in order and fold them in the proper 
fashion. Place them in a magazine rack or on a table, don't leave them on a 
chair or on the floor. Even if no one else is going to read the papers after 
you and how can you be sure of that? it's easier to store them if they are 
nicely folded, and this keeps the room inviting. Many households, especially 
country and suburban ones, keep newspapers for housekeeping purposes or 
save them to aid various causes, such as the Boy Scouts, who put on waste- 
paper drives from time to time. Crumpled and torn paper is hard to handle 
this way. As for books, anyone who turns down a leaf to mark a place or 
bends a book back to make it stay open is out-and-out destructive. Let him 
read paper-bound books, but it is good to treat them decently, too, so others 
will enjoy them. They are easy to mail to friends or to pass on to the hospital 
wards or club rooms. Why destroy them? 

Rising early. You don't come on the hearty ones so much any more, some- 
how, but sometimes a week-end houseful gets an early riser who is up and 
out for a walk before the family knows Sunday has come around. Let him 
go quietly, that's all, I say. 

The breakfaster-in-pajamas. If the family breakfasts week-end mornings in 
dressing gowns, pajamas, nightgowns, you are free to do so too. But don't 
take the informality so much to heart that you fail to comb your hair, wash 
your face and teeth, and generally make yourself attractive. No woman 
guest should appear too neglige" e or with her hair unarranged (neat, newly 
braided pigtails are all right, if you're the type, or a ribbon around your 
hair) and her face unmade-up, if she's in the habit of using make-up and 
most of us are. Be sure your dressing gowns or negligees are fit for public 
appearances. Otherwise get dressed. Don't stay in this temporary costume 
a minute longer than the others in the group. But it is better to come to 


the breakfast table so attired, but freshly groomed, than to keep everyone 
else awaiting breakfast, if you haven't been called in time. But ask permis- 
sion first. If you prefer to dress fully or if you should because the others 
have, ask them not to wait breakfast for you. Remember you may be inter- 
fering with the routine of the household if you delay getting to the table 
too long. 

Hunger pains The week-end guest sometimes is weak from hunger between 
meals, or so it seems. Fruit, nuts, candy left around in containers are meant 
to assuage such hunger pains, and it is not necessary to ask the hostess's 
permission before taking them. Most hostesses attempt to overfeed the 
guests, but sometimes it's the schedule of meals and the guests' own eating 
habits that make it hard to get from meal to meal without someone wanting 
a snack. If you can't bear more than fruit juice and coffee for breakfast on 
Sunday or any other day it will be difficult to get through until dinner- 
time at night in a two-meals-on-Sunday house, quite a comfortable arrange- 
ment for the others who have had a well-rounded late Sunday breakfast. In 
this case, ask for a sandwich and milk to tide you over when hunger hits 
you. Offer to make it yourself, as Sunday schedules, even in fully staffed 
households, are sometimes sketchy. Whatever you do, clean up after you 
and make as little public hue and cry about it as possible. If something to 
eat or drink before bedtime is your usual habit, ask for it quietly, if it isn't 
offered maybe others will be delighted you brought up the matter. There 
is little more pleasant than an informal, friendly snack in the kitchen late at 
night with interested excursions into the refrigerator. But, again, clean up 
afterward. The servant or the hostess who's finished the last dish and put 
it away won't want to face a pile of cups and saucers, dishes and silver on 
the early morning after. 

how can you help? Whether or not you lift a hand around your host's home 
while his guest depends very much on the staffing of the place and the per- 
sonality of the hostess. There are fastidious housekeepers who would rather 
have you sit with your hands folded than see you stack their fine Wedg- 
wood china and waltz with it to the kitchen when you're the type who puts 
it, scraps and all, into the dishwater. I am one. There are hostesses who are 
(I think rightly) distressed when all their guests rise as one man or woman 
and start clearing the table, just as everything was going so well, conver- 
sationally. A good hostess wants the mechanics of meal-getting and serving 
to go as smoothly as possible. If you want to help if she's obviously bogged 
down fall in with her system. She's captain of the ship. Never mind how 
you've always washed the dishes. Maybe you never had anything like these 
dishes and this crystal to wash, and it does make a difference. 

If you do offer to do the dishes in a household without help, your hostess 
assumes you will do it in proper fashion. She may even leave you completely 
alone with the task often a grave error, considering possible breakage and 
inferior washing where tyros or untrained housekeepers are concerned. But 



there is a right way, and no housekeeper, no matter how careless she may 
be herself, will be offended if you treat her dishes with this respect: 

how to wash dishes If you are using an electric dishwasher God bless the 
inventor get proper instruction from whoever knows how to operate the 
particular model you're to use. Then do your brief work and be grateful. 

For the usual and much disliked hand dishwashing there is only one cor- 
rect, really sanitary method. Scrape the plate scraps into a garbage can or 
onto several folds of newspaper (which you later roll up and discard) or 
give the contents to the pets, if so instructed. Save all food from the serving 
plates, putting it whenever possible into covered icebox dishes. Don't store 
it in the plate in which it was served unless the dish is pyrex or pottery, and 
then only if there is enough food left over to make the use of so much stor- 
age space sensible. Save cold coffee and leftovers from butter plates for 
cooking use if the hostess approves. Clean bits of butter can go in an icebox 
dish or in a piece of wax paper. 

If you have only one sink to work with, rinse each dish in running hot 
water, then stack before beginning the real washing. Remove any garbage 
from the sink, clean the porcelain if it has absorbed grease from the rinsing. 
Now run in the hottest water your hands can stand (maybe there are rub- 
ber gloves to be had) with enough soap powder a detergent is ideal to do 
a good cleaning job. Never put pots, pans, glasses, silver, and dishes in to- 
gether! Do the dishes first, rinsing each as it emerges. Place them in the dish 
rack to dry by themselves. This is really more sanitary than towel drying, 
according to the American Medical Association, in case anyone is unduly 
critical. You will need to dry the silver well, otherwise it will spot or rust. 
Don't put plastic-handled knives, forks, and spoons into the water. Wash 
just the metal part with dishcloth or dish mop. Otherwise the handles will 
eventually come off. 

Unless there is some limitation on the hot water and if it is heated by a 
separate heating unit there may be wash the glassware in fresh, clean hot 
water with plenty of soap or detergents, then rinse in hot water. Washing it 
in with the dishes will often streak glassware, and no amount of rubbing 
with the towel will improve the situation. It is better to use a detergent for 
glassware, especially, and let it dry itself. This prevents lint sticking to the 
glass. To test your efficiency, hold the glass up to the light. You can see 
that running glasses under a stream of cold water, bachelor-girl-and-boy 
fashion, isn't acceptable. Who wants to encounter a lipsticked rim? 

A special blight on the guest who offers "to do the dishes," then leaves 
the greasy pots and pans for the hostess. Pots are washed last, first rinsed 
of any food that may be sticking to them. They should be scoured inside 
and out wherever necessary. A good dishwasher leaves the bottom of the 
pot as shining as its sides. Pots should be rinsed and dried, preferably over 
a low flame, or with paper toweling, not with the best glass toweling. They 
should be put away, if possible, nesting if they are meant to nest, but it is 
better to leave them on the top of a stove or cabinet than to tuck them in 


making a bed, placing the under sheet 1. Grasp sheet as shown, raise. 2. Let 
fall on top of mattress. 3. Tuck in hanging part of sheet smoothly. 4. Drop 
corner of sheet. 5. Tuck under, being sure to catch fold coming down over 
head of mattress. 6. With fists uppermost, hands together, pull diagonally and 
tuck under, holding onto roll as far as it will go. Repeat this along entire 
length of bed. 



some odd place where the cook can't find them at hand when she wants 

The dish towel should be placed over the draining dishes, when you have 
finished, to keep dust from settling on them. If you know where to put the 
dishes and silver when they are dry, put them away, exactly as you found 
them, if your hostess has an orderly cupboard, not stacked any old way. 
If the cups have hangers, put them on all facing in one direction to mini- 
mize breakage. In putting away kitchen cutlery, be sure it's perfectly dry 
or it will spot or rust. Leave the kitchen like the laboratory it should be 
drawers and cupboards closed, dishcloth hung on a rack or neatly folded 
over the sink, broiler pan back in the oven, all counters wiped up (with 
the dishcloth or a sponge, not the dish towel!), the stove shining and with 
all the burners turned off. A really good housekeeper sweeps the kitchen 
after each main meal to repel rodents and just to be neat and clean. Sweep- 
ings should go into the trash can, not out the window or into the yard. 

making beds If you're a guest it's better to leave your bed strictly alone unless 
you are perfectly sure you can make it up at least the way you found it. If 
you are leaving before the next bedtime, just throw the covers back to air 
the bed, or, if your hostess would really appreciate a hand, ask for fresh 
linen for the bed and make the bed as nicely as possible. 

Any man with military training knows how to miter sheets, even if he 
pretends to have forgotten. There are people who loathe having their sheets 
tucked in and prefer to tear apart any bed so made before trying to settle 
down for the night. But for the most part, sheets mitered at the corners, all 
the way around for the bottom sheet if it's big enough, and at the bottom 
of the top sheet make the best-made bed. Look at the hems of a sheet 
before putting it on. The bottom sheet should be placed with the hemmed 
side next to the mattress. The top sheet should be the reverse so that when 
the top of the sheet is folded over the blankets to keep them from scratch- 
ing, of course the smooth side of the sheet will show. Your hostess will grit 
her teeth if you make up a bed with an initialed top sheet and turn down the 
sheet so the initial is on the wrong side now what's the use of an initial that 
can't be seen in all its glory? 

1. Center top sheet lengthwise. 
Allow for folding back over blan- 
ket. Leave loose at foot. 2. Place 
blankets on bed lengthwise at 
shoulder height. Allow blanket 
to hang over foot of bed. 3. Pro- 
vide toe space by making a box 
pleat at foot of bed, upper sheet 
and blankets together. 4. Tuck 
sheet and blankets loosely under 
mattress at foot of bed. Retain 
pleat. Make loose corners. 
(Pleats provide space for toes.) 


Pillows should be placed so that the hems of the slips are on the outside. 
To make a bolsterlike effect with the pillows, push them tightly against the 
headboard, put the bedspread on the bed, turn down a top fold just at the 
edge of the pillows, tuck this folded edge under the tightly placed pillows, 
then fold the edge of the spread back over them, tucking the fold in to give 
an unwrinkled appearance. The bedspread should hang evenly on the sides 
and on a bed without a footboard is usually best left hanging loose to cover 
the springs. The quilt, if any, is either put away for the day or folded 
attractively at the foot of the bed. One way to do it is to fold it in half, end 
to end, place it on the bed, then indent the folded side so the quilt looks 
like half a bow knot. Don't ever put a quilt under the bedspread that gives 
a lumpy, unmade look to the bed. 


Most city-dwellers live in apartments. And in apartments the guest room is 
becoming archaic. The living room, the library, the dining room, or a child's 
room must serve for the occasional overnight guest in the usual city home. 
Because of this lack of privacy, overnight guests in town are usually just 
that. Week ends are usually too difficult for all concerned, and longer stays 
an impossible strain on the household. An overnight guest in a city apart- 
ment should leave as promptly as possible, be as neat as if he were operating 
from a footlocker aboard a naval transport, observe a strict meal-and-shower 
schedule and prompt rising and retiring hours compatible with the family's 

He should not treat the apartment-dwelling friends as if they were run- 
ning a hotel for his convenience, open all night and with latchkey freedom. 
He is a guest even on a daybed, and if he merely wants the convenience of 
a stop-over in town, without any social obligations involved, the real place 
for him is a hotel. 




Furnishings in the Established Household 326 

Setting the Table 336 

Special Problems of Service 352 

Employer-Servant Relations 358 

Dress and Duties of the Household Staff 370 

Gracious Living Without Servants 377 

Financing the Family 387 


This section is written mainly from the point of view of most of us. The day 
of the complete staff, of formal entertainment, except in a limited way, is 
about done. The most exclusive men's tailors in the country say they have 
no ready-made liveries any more because there are no longer customers to 
support the department. The few establishments with permanent men serv- 
ants must have liveries made to order. 

This is the day of the electric dishwasher, the storage wall, the dining ell, 
the deep freeze, buffet meals, day workers, sitters, the automatic washing 
machine, the mangle, and nursery school instead of Nanny. 

Actual living space has become so expensive and difficult to obtain, that 
non-essentials in household furnishings are automatically ruled out in many 
a home. There are usually no attics, no pantries, and often no cellars for 
storage in the ranch houses mushrooming all over the country. The one- 
level floor plan itself is designed to make it easier for a woman to do the 
housework without a servant. All this simplifies our living and, necessarily, 
our entertaining. It often means that, even if we can afford help, we have 
no room for a servant to live in. Women with no previous domestic talents 
have found it necessary to develop at least the fundamental ones. 

In many ways it's better, but whether we like it or not we can never go 
hack. We must master the new ways, the new mores, and the new skills. I 
have tried in this section to show how this can be done most effectively. 




Many a fine and helpful book has been written on the subject of house fur- 
nishings. Many magazines deal well and extensively with the subject. If 



your taste is unformed, perhaps because you've never given the matter 
thought, you can and should learn from these sources. But best of all, move 
with your eyes and senses alert through the loveliest homes you can find. 
You might start with a trip to Charlottesville, Virginia, where Jefferson's 
majestic "Monticello" will prove an inspiration and delight. Drink in the 
colors of the walls, of the handmade brick, of the furniture patined by time. 
Enjoy the surprising freshness and frugality of the muslin curtains, the depth 
of the boxwood, the body to the silver. Then go to Williamsburg, to Mount 
Vernon, to New York City's Metropolitan Museum of Art, and Museum of 
Modern Art, to antique shops, to modern galleries, to the great silversmiths 
and glassmakers, to the beautiful homes in your own community that may 
be opened each year to the public through co-operation with the garden 

Keep a scrapbook, collect swatches of material and samples of color. De- 
velop your own taste from what pleases you in all this. Then build your own 
home around what you have learned with the help, if you wish, of a deco- 
rator. But never let a professional superimpose his taste on yours. You will 
never be comfortable in your surroundings if you don't understand them and 
if, no matter how perfecdy conceived from a decorating standpoint, they 
don't seem in the least like you. 

Never decorate in haste, trying to complete the whole picture within a 
four-wall frame at once. Homes grow from the outside in. We need to live 
in them a little and in relation to what belongings we have with which to 
start, before we know what is right for the house and for us. 

Do not be misled by those who preach the necessity of "period." Nothing, 
to my mind, is duller than a room, modern or ancient in genesis, all keyed 
to one static note. Good modern rooms come to life with old glass, a piece or 
so of antique furniture, an old painting, a time-honored rug, a brass from 
ancient Syria or Ceylon. A room graced by antiques will be more comfort- 
able for its present-day roomy sofa and its freedom from froufrou. 

Whatever you do, remember that some things must be of as recent vintage 
as your purse will allow sofas, beds (which if old may be lengthened, 
equipped with box springs and innerspring mattresses), kitchen and laundry 
equipment. The living room must have one or more really comfortable 
chairs, preferably with some equipment, such as hassock, that permits 
elevation of the feet. The sofa should be as big as the space will allow and 
have adjacent a coffee table for ash trays, cigarettes, drinks, a book or so, 
and flowers or ornaments. The furniture should be grouped with a main 
center of interest the fireplace or the view and subsidiary groups for con- 
versations among two or three, so that they can join, without moving, con- 
versation in the main group governed by the placement of the sofa or sofas. 

In good decoration a room should never look too new. Do not fuss if 
you can't have every piece of furniture freshly reupholstered at one time. 
It will seem more comfortable for an occasional bit of genteel shabbiness. 

Do not be misled by the vagaries of fashion in decorating. A good room 


can remain exactly as it began for many, many years, with occasional neces- 
sary refurbishing. To be a good, pleasant, and satisfying room, a living 
room should have shades or variations of each primary color red, yellow, 
and blue. Our eyes unconsciously seek these colors. Of course they include 
all the greens, shades of rose, orange, gold, and dozens of possible combina- 
tions. Beware the startling and work up from the rug or the floor color. 

The most livable rooms reflect the interests and hobbies of the owners. 
A friend of mine, proud possessor of a Sutton Place brownstone, has a pleas- 
ant masculine study whose chief decorative motif is a large airplane propel- 
ler over the Victorian marble fireplace. My friend is an aviation engineer 
and to him a propeller is just as beautiful, I suppose, as one of his Manets. 
At any rate, it looks right in the room because it expresses his interest, not 
one some decorator has thrust upon him. 

Most important, our surroundings should take into consideration our phys' 
ical appearance. The possessor of a six-foot-two, big-boned husband is plain 
silly to expect him to sleep comfortably in a spool bed she hopefully 
imagines is big enough for two. The small couple make themselves smaller 
still if it matters by surrounding themselves with massive furniture in 
large, open rooms with high ceilings. The plump family spills over on the 
seats of gilt salon chairs and looks even plumper in rococo rooms. 

Colors are most important of all. Never try to live with a color you don't 
like and couldn't wear. This goes for men, too, who are notoriously uneasy 
in juxtaposition to pastel, fussy-feminine decor. 


Bed linen, special bedroom linen such as handkerchief and lingerie cases, 
tray sets, and bathroom linens are marked with the married initials of the 
mistress of the house. In modern usage these are her first initial, the initial 
of her maiden name, and the initial of her married name. Helen Fulton 
Jameson has initials HFJ. No longer is the old usage popular whereby 
her initials would be HMJ, for Helen May, her baptismal names, Jameson. 

These personal, feminine initials may be as simple or as elaborate as a 
woman may wish. But as good household linens may last a decade or more, 
it is well to remember that simple things hold up best, fashionwise. 

Downstairs linens, except those for lavatories, are usually marked in the 
same way silver and glass are when they are acquired during the course of 
the marriage with the initials of both husband and wife in a monogram, 
in decorated lettering or in a simple triangle, or with a crest or crest and 
motto for small pieces and coats of arms or larger, decorative monograms for 
large pieces (see "Silver Marking"). 

Four complete linen changes for each bed and four complete towel sets 
for each bathroom are usually adequate 

additional identifying marks For linens and in fact everything sent out to 
commercial laundries it is wise to have those excellent little name tapes 



sewn or ironed inconspicuously onto the foot of sheets, on the undersides of 
tablecloths at the hem, and on anything else where such marking can be 
done without being seen by the user. This can't very well be done on din- 
ner napkins, which is sad. I have two damask sets, each with twelve nap- 
kins, that are unusable because a laundry returned them with assorted 
damask napkins belonging to other customers. No laundry is going to com- 
pare the design in a damask napkin, it seems, and most feel you are fortu- 
nate to get back twelve napkins of any design. Chaos reigns in many a linen 
closet as a result. The only solution is to have such expensive items done at 
home, if at all possible. 

checking laundry Commercially done laundry should be checked against the 
duplicate list as soon as it is unpacked not only for the number and con- 
dition of pieces but for identification of the articles sent. A laundry may re- 
turn the correct number of sheets, say, eight, but they may well be someone 
else's well-worn ones rather than the fine percale initialed ones you sent out. 
It is well not to settle laundry bills until each bundle is satisfactorily 
checked, and it is imperative for the person making out the laundry list to be 
detailed in her listing and to make a carefully dated duplicate. Instead of 
writing "6 dish towels," she should write "6 red plaid linen dish towels." 
Instead of "14 shirts," "14 shirts, size (take this from neckband)," and for 
further identification she should list the color and the manufacturer of each. 
The manufacturer's name is also in the neckband. 

nursery linens Linens for the nursery should be simple and sturdy. Coarser 
muslin or percale for sheets eight per bed for the wetting ages and terry 
cloth accessories stand up under the necessary heavy laundering. Cotton knit 
bottom sheets four to six with elasticized corners that fit snugly over mat- 
tresses are excellent for cribs and youth beds, for they stay in place and, of 
course, require no ironing. Children's towels and washcloths four of each, 
minimum per child are best tape-marked, but they may be marked with a 
single machine- or hand-embroidered initial (that of their surname) or with 
a first name, "Stephen," or a nickname, "Patty," sometimes amusingly ma- 
chine-stitched in bright colored script. 

Children should never be surrounded with ultrafancy bedroom accessories 
that can't take good, hard wear. I prefer simple white muslin curtains, rick- 
rack trimmed, cottage style, to starched organdy, dimity, or dotted swiss. 
Denim, ticking, or candlewick bedspreads are better than those of delicate 
fabrics. As much as possible should be washable. 

table linens What kind of linens you regularly need depends very much on 
the living quarters you occupy and the life you lead. If your "dining room" 
is a tiny foyer of a small city apartment, dining must, of necessity, always 
be informal. Table mats are the best solution here four or five sets, in- 
cluding one or two for breakfast, should be enough. A gay linen cloth or so 
will ring an occasional change. If you own a large house, beautiful linens, 


silver, glassware, and china, you may still live informally because of your 
inability to get the servants who understand formal entertaining or even 
those willing to be instructed in it. The trend is toward more and more re- 
laxed living. It is both thrust upon us and, in most cases, gratefully accepted. 
Formal entertaining of all kinds is either on the wane or already gone and, 
like the value of the nickel, I don't see how it ever can return. 

Modern hostesses set their dinner tables wherever it's convenient or par- 
ticularly appealing. On a cold winter night a round table drawn up before 
the fire in the living room or library may seem ideal. In summer, dinner on a 
terrace, even one opening off a bedroom would seem inviting. Some people 
have all their summer, spring, and early fall meals on a porch or, weather 
permitting, fully out of doors. One of my friends has made a lovely, green 
dining place beside his dammed-up river. Built-in storage space houses 
simple dishes, glassware, and "silver." An old-fashioned ice box functions 
nicely at hand. The tablecloth is checked cotton or shiny green oilcloth. The 
whole family trails down, even for breakfast. The dining room in their little 
remodeled farm house is forgotten except on rainy days. 

In one of the largest town houses I know the hostess is famous for enter- 
taining in her huge, Victorian kitchen. On Sunday she dismisses her serv- 
ants, dons an apron, and goes to work on one of her delicious specialties 
spaghetti with clam sauce, chicken cacciatore, New England baked beans 
and ham with brown bread or thick, sizzling steaks with tender, pan- 
steamed onions, and bursting, hot baked potatoes. She could entertain in 
her dining room with all the 6clat in the world, and she has the staff with 
which to do it. But everyone loves her kitchen fests. And she really enjoys 

Actually, variety in the service of meals makes them interesting. I would 
not care to dine formally every night nor buffet-style every night, either. 
Dinner always served on the same china, with the same candlesticks or 
candelabra on the table, the same style of table covering, shows lack of 

formal table linens Truly formal dinners require full-sized white cloths, 
that is, large enough to provide a generous overhang on the table for which 
they are intended. Damask ones should have self-color woven designs or 
simple bands. Large dinner napkins (approximately twenty -four inches 
square) should be hand-hemmed and match the cloths. Cream damask is 
also acceptable, but the delicate pastel colors are considered less than formal. 
Damask cloths are placed over silence cloths, felt mats that fit the table 
exactly. Delicate linen cloths with embroidery and lace are placed over a 
bare table. Large dinner napkins to match such cloths should be very 
simple. All machine-made lace should be rigidly avoided. 

Finger bowl doilies are not necessary even at the most formal dinner^ 
but if they are used they should be of fine linen or real lace. Paper ones are 
not correct. 



Doilies in lace or embroidered linen are also needed for the bread tray 
used for dinner rolls, melba toast, cheese sticks, crackers all dry finger 
foods and for the plate on which petits fours are served. Except at formal 
meals these are usually paper. 

informal table linens As a menage develops it will become more and more 
apparent that the most useful pieces of table linen are place mats. These 
come in every imaginable material and in every possible color. They may 
be tiny straw disks to fit under a dinner plate and not be seen, so that the 
effect is that of a gleaming bare table. Or they may be generous rectangles 
of self-fringed linen. If it seems likely that no use will ever be found for 
the two damask banquet cloths that were among the wedding presents, 
the clever woman will either sell them or convert them into four dinner 
cloths, two or three of which she may have dyed a pleasant dark color, such 
as ruby red or amethyst. Her napkins may remain white or be dyed to 
match or contrast. Out will go the table runners and the dresser covers, the 
embroidered rounds meant for occasional tables and only Heaven knows 
for what else. Off to the Thrift Shop will go the faded linens that seemed 
worthy of saving but are never quite presentable enough to put on the 
table, and they might well be accompanied by the giftee nightgown cases, 
the cross-stitched napkin cases. 


formal china China for the formal dinner is fine bone china or porcelain, 
never earthenware. Occasionally it is fine glass, antique or modern. One 
famous collector of early American glass has a complete set of Diamond 
Point, which, of course, could appear proudly on the most formal table. 

But even on a formal table with fine china it is not necessary, nor even 
usually very attractive, to have a matching set turn up course after course. 
The effect may be varied with, say, antique oyster plates in iridescent oyster 
white on service plates of blue and white Copeland, followed by the fish 
course on lovely, fish-decorated Limoges. The dinner plates could be of 
the set, if one owns one, in any of the old or modern fine chinas from 
Lowestoft to American Lenox, perhaps in the gold and white wheat pattern. 
The salad course for formal dinner is always on a flat plate, perhaps on a 
beautiful clear or frosted glass in color, never in individual bowls, and is 
always passed on a flat serving dish, with or without cheese and crackers. 
In the Victorian era the cheese tray was passed between the dessert and 

The main thing to remember, at either a formal meal or an informal 
one, is that all the place plates at a single course must match. Serving 
dishes and butter plates may be silver or of a fine blending china or glass, 
but need not match the set. Of course, butter plates are not used at the 
most formal kind of dinner. 


informal china Into this class falls almost any receptable for food placed on 
the table. It includes sea shells to hold deviled dishes or to be used as out- 
door ash trays, the Mexican glass salad plates, pottery ramekins and those in 
fine china, the everyday dinner plates (and one should have enough so that 
the same plates don't turn up night after night) . In this group are the pitchers 
in pottery, china, glass, brass, copper, pewter, and silver that are part and 
parcel of every household. Serving dishes that come from stove to table 
are informal but may appear without a blush at the nicest company dinner. 
Wooden salad bowls, large and individual, belong here, along with wooden 
pepper grinders, nutmeg graters, salt grinders. Platters may be in wide, 
wide variety from great round porcelain or pottery wall hangings occasion- 
ally put to use, to wooden cheese trays and the tole trays which often can 
double as platters. 

Butter plates are informal and come in dozens of materials from pewter 
and wood to ruby or amethyst glass. It is more attractive if they don't 
match a dinner or luncheon set. 


fine glassware Of all a young bride's household possessions the most fragile 
is the fine glassware and, though she is at first perhaps unaware of the fact, 
very expensive to replace. After a few sad experiences she learns to use it 
only when she herself is willing to wash it and put it away in its special 
storage section. A growing family makes so many demands upon an inelastic 
budget that somehow the broken sets seldom get filled out again. Therefore, 
fine glass, of all luxury furnishings, must be given the most special handling. 

Perforated rubber mats in sinks help cut down breakage and chipping. 
Pliofilm covers over glassware help avoid extra washing, and washing of this 
glass should be done by hand. In hard water a detergent and perhaps a 
water softener in addition lessen the need for dangerously hot water. Glass 
must really sparkle. It should be rinsed in fairly hot water, hot enough so 
that the glass will dry without being toweled. When necessary, polishing 
may be done with a linen glass towel. 

It is frustrating indeed to try to set a table for guests only to find that 
there is one too few really good glasses or that the best wine goblets have 
chipped rims here and there. By carefully husbanding her best glass, the 
wise hostess sees to it that she has at all times eight or more matching 
glasses for water and eight or more for one or two wines. A dozen or more 
really good cocktail glasses and eight nice sherries should be kept apart 
from the regular glass supply of the household. Twelve good highball 
glasses should be reserved for those special occasions when the hostess can't 
afford even to feel apologetic about such minor matters. Fine liqueur glasses 
are cobweb-frail and should be stored well away from casual gropers in the 
bar shelves. 

Wisest of all is the careful hostess' habit of washing her party glasses 



herself after a late party, not leaving them to be done probably carelessly 
with the breakfast dishes. 

The young homemaker who did not receive the kind of fine glass for 
which she yearns as her home takes shape, yet is appalled by the price of 
new glass, should patronize the auctions, treading carefully at first to learn 
what quality is and what the glass she sees would bring when new. The 
contents of estates out of town are more likely to yield what she wants 
than the auction rooms in town. 

glassware for everyday use The established household usually includes 
children, and children mean breakage of glassware. Open-stock, inexpensive 
glass should be used for children's meals. Plastic and other unbreakable 
wares are attractive and sensible. 

Along about the fifth year of marriage wedding glassware is often about 
gone, sad to state, except for the little-used fine glass such as champagne 
glasses, although these are particularly short-lived because of their delicacy. 
Glasses used in the summer for beer and for iced drinks have a very high 
mortality. They fall onto stone floors, are tipped over on the terrace, fall 
from ill-balanced trays. Most people soon forget their pride and replace 
them with inexpensive but attractive glass, with the realization that replace- 
ment will be necessary again the following season, anyway. Very practical 
for outdoor use, of course, are metal glasses hammered or spun aluminum 
for example. They keep drinks very cold and are indestructible. 

It is wise to put on a high shelf for special occasions whatever may be 
left of the fine cocktail glasses and replace them with heavier, open-stock 
ones in a pleasant pattern or in a simple, plain glass. At cocktail parties 
few give any notice to the glass in which the drink is served so long as 
it is the right shape and size. To be avoided, however, are inexpensive 
"hand-painted" glasses and overdecorated ones in somewhat doubtful taste. 

In making replacements it is well to remember that blown "bubble" glass, 
interestingly irregular, cannot stand either rough handling or really hot 
water. It must be washed by hand, not put in the dishwasher. Pretty and 
practical are some of the plates, sauce dishes, sugars and creamers in repro- 
ductions of cut and pressed glass and other items in clear and colored 
glass which abound in the five-and-ten and in department stores. 

One of my own hobbies is old glass and china, and I find it very reward- 
ing to discover the things I love in antique shops and even in secondhand 
shops. A little study on how to recognize old glass and china will be very 
worth while. Ruth Webb Lee's Handbook of Early American Pressed Glass, 
kept for easy reference in the glove compartment of a car, will be of help 
in such treasure hunts. Her Antique Fakes and Reproductions may keep 
an "antiquer" once the collecting bug has bitten from paying a sky-high 
price for something now being turned out on the production line. In the 
library are all sorts of books on old china and glass, American and European. 
It is well to remember that antique blown glass, too, is perishable to a 
degree and was mainly meant for decoration. Using it will prove disappoint- 





1. Punch glass, IX oz. Fill X full. 

2. Pilsener glass. 

3. Beer mug. Shape optional. 

4. Iced-tea glass. Shape optional. 

5. Water goblet. Shape optional. 
Preferable at table for luncheon 
and dinner. Fill Y2" from top. 

6. Water tumbler. Fill W from 
top. Preferred for water served 
away from table except at break- 

7. Large brandy, approx. 8 oz 
Fill only X. 

8. Small brandy, approx. 2 oz. 
Fill only X. 

9. Old-fashioned glass, 3 to 4X 
oz. Fill X. 

10. Juice glass, 3 to 4 oz. Shape 
optional. Fill &" from top. 

11. Large bowl for white wine. 
Fill %" from top. 

12. Creme de menthe frappe, 
about 4 oz. For stingers, too, and 
any frappe, such as Old South- 
ern Comfort frappe or apricot 
frappe. Or a frappeed liqueur 
may be served in an ordinary 
cocktail glass. Fill about %. full. 















13. Delmonico or whisky sour 
(but ordinary cocktail glass will 

14. Stem whisky sour or parfait 
glass. Fill W from top. 

15. Hock or Rhine wineglass, 
sometimes with green bowl, oc- 
casionally decorated (antique 
specimens). Should not be used 
except for hock or Rhine wines. 
Any table wineglass may be sub- 
stituted. Fill K" from top. 

16. Traditional sherry. Fill W 
from top. 

17. Optional sherries. Fill XT 
from top. 

18. Cocktail glass, 1 oz. or more. 
Shape optional. 

19. Large bowl glass, 4 oz., for 
red table wine. 

20. Optional glass for table 
wine, 1 oz. or more. Fill W 
from top. For white wine, port, 
and red table wines. 

21. Champagne glass, solid stem 
preferred. Used for frozen dai- 
quiris and champagne cocktails 
too. Fill W from top. 

22. Highball glass. Shape op- 
tional. Fill Ji" from top. 

23. Shot glass, 1 oz. For whisky. 

24. Liqueur glass, 1 to 2 oz. 
May be used for liqueur brandy 




ing, but early pressed and cut glass is practical to collect and use and makes 
for an attractive table. If you're clever, you can have it at prices no higher 
than those asked for much modern glass. 

It is a good idea, too, to patronize the auctions when china, glass, and 
other household items need replacement. Go early enough to inspect the mer- 
chandise, however, and do not buy chipped, cracked, or crazed glass or 
china. (See "Attending Auctions.") Dealers who go to auctions are usually 
interested only in the more valuable pieces of old glass, so that an astute 
buyer can often pick up fairly modern glass and even fine china in broken 
lots at such auctions at a fraction of its original cost. If you know what 
you want and are not distracted from the search by the allure of things for 
which there may be neither use nor space, you may be able to acquire 
lovely things indeed. 

When expensive glassware does become chipped in the rim, if the chip 
or crack is not too deep it should be taken to some one specializing in 
grinding down glass. The cost runs around a dollar per glass much less 
than the replacement value of most, and saving them this way often keeps 
a set intact. Collectors' magazines often have ads of these and other fine 
repair specialists. 




Breakfast is a simple, informal meal unless we wish to make an occasion 
of it (wedding breakfasts, hunt breakfasts, etc.). It is the one meal where 
it is often not even expected that all the family and the guests, if any, eat at 
the same time. And even in a well-staffed household it is not a served meal, 
except in a sketchy sense. 

For ease of service, breakfast is often served on individual trays at the 
table with each tray containing individual salt and pepper, a covered por- 
tion of toast (covered with a linen napkin or a china or silver dome), coffee 
or tea cup with the spoon on the saucer, knife, fork, butter plate and butter 
knife, fruit or fruit juice, cream and sugar, napkin to the left of the fork, 
jam, the breakfast dish and especially when the tray is taken up for 
breakfast in bed a simple low flower arrangement. 

For the breakfast table the centerpiece may be simple flowers, a green 
plant in a silver or copper urn, or a convenient Lazy Susan. The table is 



the breakfast tray always has a tray cloth, usually linen. It may have its own 
special china. Shown top left to right: Simple low flower arrangement if 
space permits, jam jar, toast or rolls in napkin or under dome, sugar and 
cream. Below, left to right: Butter plate, napkin, breakfast plate with cover 
for food upon it, salt and pepper, coffee cup with spoon to right of handle, 
coffeepot. The morning paper in an upright holder if room on the tray. 

usually bare except for place mats, but on a beautifully surfaced table or 
in a breakfast nook where the table has a composition top even these may 
be dispensed with. The silver at each place consists of a small fork and 
knife, a dessert-size spoon for cereal, if needed, a butter knife on the butter 
plate, and a teaspoon on the saucer beneath the coffee cup or to the right 
of the knife to the left of the cereal spoon. Coffee cups may be before the 
hostess or at each place to the right of the knife. Jam or marmalade is served 
in a small serving dish or silver-topped or other decorative jam jar on a 
small service plate, with a spoon on the right side of the plate or in the 
jar or dish. Fruit or fruit juice is at each place on the breakfast plate. 
Water is at each place in tumblers, at least when guests are present. 

When there is service the waitress or butler pours the coffee and asks each 
person how he wishes his eggs. If there is something else offered, plates 
may be arranged in the kitchen and served individually. If everyone is 
ready at once, a platter of, say, bacon and eggs may be passed or griddle 
cakes and bacon. Or foods may be kept hot on the sideboard along with 
the coffee, either over alcohol lamps or in electric bains-marie. Toast may 
be made on the sideboard or at the table if it is not brought in from the 
kitchen on a covered dish or beneath a napkin. The napkin is laid on the 
plate, the buttered or unbuttered toast on top, then the corners of the nap- 
kin are folded to cover the toast. 

Breakfast is the one meal at which it is permissible to read the paper, 
mail, or anything else that suits our fancy. Many people are totally unable 
to function conversationally early in the morning. 


at breakfast the first course, stewed fruit, is in place on the breakfast plate. 
Tumbler is used for breakfast water. Coffee spoon may be on saucer as 
shown, or at right of knife. Dry cereal is placed above place plate. Hot 
cereal is served from the kitchen. 


As at breakfast, the basic silver for lunch is always a fork and knife, 
whether or not both are actually needed. To this is added a spoon for soup 
or appetizer, if needed. The table may be covered with a lunch cloth, 
elaborate or simple, depending on the degree of formality. But, as is the 
modern fashion, it is more likely to be set with place mats. Water is in 
the goblets at each place, or may be poured. The centerpiece can be simple 
garden flowers or an arrangement of fruit. There are ash trays, cigarettes, 
and matches at each place unless the hostess is unalterably opposed to 
smoking at any meal. Butter plates are always used. Luncheons are usually 
limited to three courses which may be soup (in cream soup or bouillon 
cups rather than soup plates) or appetizer such as shrimp cocktail or pate, 
a main course often combining meat and vegetable (shepherd's pie, cas- 
serole, stew, curry), salad with cheese or simple dessert, often with a fruit 
base. Sometimes there may be only two courses a main dish, such as a 
cold sea food plate, and dessert. 

Dessert silver may be on the table above the place plate or on the dessert 
plates, passed by maid or hostess. 

Lunches may also be served buffet and are conveniently done that way 
even for only a few guests when there is inexpert or limited service or none 
at all. The food is placed, buffet style, on the dining room table or on the 
sideboard if it is to be eaten elsewhere, or the table may be set with place 
settings and the guests may serve themselves from the buffet, then seat them- 



informal placement of dessert silver, informal lunch and dinner: This is a 
convenient way to place dessert silver above the place plate. Without first 
course (or with first course served after guests are seated): Dinner napkin 
is on dinner plate (or on service plate if one is used) when guests sit down, 
as at a formal dinner. Note optional placement of dessert silver, easy when 
service is limited or when serving is done by the hostess. 

optional placement of butter kntfe: Two of the three ways the butter 
knife may be placed on the butter plate. The third way is shown in many of 
the place settings illustrated and is more usual. 

selves at the table. Service is limited to the removal of plates and to the 
replenishing of dishes as necessary. 

When salad appears at lunch it is often not served as a separate course 
but may come to the table in a wooden bowl to be mixed and served 
perhaps in small wooden bowls to the delectation of the guests. Or it may 
be an "arranged" salad placed at the luncher's left immediately following the 
service of the main course if there is a maid. If there is no maid such a 
salad is often in place as the guests sit down and may be eaten by the 
guest with the first course, if any, if he wishes. 

Dessert at an informal lunch depends on the season and on the menu, 


of course, up to that point. A rosy baked apple stuffed with nuts and raisins 
or topped with fluid or whipped cream, fresh cut-up mixed fruit in season, 
what I call the nursery puddings tapioca, rice, rennet, cup custard, corn- 
starch, farina all are pleasant at lunch. When men are present a sound 
fruit pie is always a good choice, as is fruit and cheese, but the fussier 
desserts such as charlotte russe or meringue glace usually seem better suited 
to dinner. 

In California it is popular to serve the salad first as an appetizer. It is 
beautifully done, often in individual wooden salad bowls or abalone shells 
in place as guests are seated. 

In summer iced tea, iced coffee, iced chocolate, or a tall fruit beverage 
may be in place on the lunch table before guests are seated. At informal 
luncheons hot tea or coffee may be passed during the meal or with dessert 
Or demitasses or large cups of coffee, to those who prefer them, are served 
after dessert at the table. 

Lunch is an excellent time to serve simple dishes almost everyone likes, 
yet which are not exactly "party" fare. At an informal lunch in the winter 
the following would all be appropriate as the main course, preceded or not 
by an appetizer: fish chowder, French potato soup, bouillabaisse, pot-au-feu 
(all served from a tureen and served in generous portions in soup plates), 
baked macaroni and cheese, baked beans with salt pork served with raisin 
brown bread, tripe, potato and chipped beef or ham casserole, corned beef 
and cabbage, or frankfurters, sauerkraut, and mashed potatoes, eggs Bene- 
dict, scrambled eggs with kidneys and whole hominy or hominy grits, pan- 
cakes with creamed lamb, and rice, tomato, and ground meat casserole. 


At a semiformal company dinner party the silver is preferably sterling, but 
at a wholly informal or family dinner it may be a good plate or any of the 
wood or plastic-handled tableware in common use, so long as it is in good 
condition and all matching. Whatever the "silver," it is placed one inch or 
so from the edge of the table at place settings that are equidistant from one 
another on a table laid with care and precision. The napkin is placed on 
the place plate, unless the first course is in place, and then it is to the left 
of the forks, but it should not obscure them, nor should the silver be ob- 
scured by the plate. On an informal table the other appointments are geared 
to the size of the table, the amount of service available which may be 
none at all and to the number to be seated. At a small, round table, for 
example, a centerpiece may prove impractical if meat and vegetables are 
to be served at table. Perhaps all the table can conveniently hold at the 
center, in addition to the food, are the candlesticks or a single candelabrum. 
Candles may be in any color but should be above eye level and, if they 
are on the table at all, lighted. The silver is whatever is neded for the meal, 
though many prefer to introduce the dessert silver with the dessert. Otherwise 


informal dinner setting First course: The first course is in place when the 
guest is seated, usually. If not, the dinner napkin is on the place plate in- 
stead of to the left of the forks as shown (see below). The seafood fork is 
shown in one of the three accepted ways of placing it. 

Second course: Informal dinners are very elastic. They may have as few as 
two courses but are usually limited to five. The soup course may well be 
omitted, especially if an appetizer is served first. At informal dinners the 
soup need not be served in the traditional flat soup plate. 


Third course: The salad is usually served with the entree for simplicity's sake. 
The knife is optional, depending on the type of salad and whether or not 
cheese is served. 

dessert spoon and fork or spoon alone may be above the plate (illustrated). 
The knives are usually limited to two one for an appetizer, if any, one for 
the meat, as the informal dinner rarely has more than four courses. If salad 
is to be served with cheese a salad knife is needed. The silver is placed 
traditionally, that needed first, farthest right and left of the plate. The forks 
are usually two, for meat and salad, occasionally one more for an appetizer, 
but never more than three at once. The salad fork is inside the meat fork, 
unless the salad is served as a first course in which case it is the first fork 
in the setting. At informal tables iced tea or iced coffee may be served 
but not at the same time as wine. The iced tea spoon is placed to the right 
of the knives. Sometimes the iced tea or coffee is on its own small serving 
plate, sometimes placed directly on the (treated) table or on a small coaster. 
For iced coffee, cream and sugar are passed. Iced tea at a meal is best served 
sweetened and lemon-flavored and poured from a pitcher at the table over 

Spoons for soup or fruit are on the table, to the right of the knives. If 
hot coffee or tea is to be served at the table, during the meal or with or 
after dessert, the spoons for it are on the saucers, to the right of each cup 

On the informal table, butter plates and knives are used with the butter 
knife placed in a variety of ways across the top of the plate, blade toward 



Fourth course: The salad 
course may be served 
separately as a fourth 
course and, especially 
when accompanied by a 
cheese tray, may replace 

Fifth course: When dessert 
silver is not in place above 
the place plate at an in- 
formal dinner it comes in 
on the dessert plate, or is 
so placed and passed with 
the dessert by the hostess 
from her place. When the 
dessert is in place, flanked 
by the silver on the plate, 
it is left that way. If the 
silver is on an empty plate 
with or without finger 
bowl, the guest places 
silver left and right of 
plate (see illustration of 
dessert service and text) . 

the user, across the top of the plate, tip toward the center of the plate, or 
occasionally parallel to the knives, blade to the left (illustrated). 

Salts and peppers on a informal table may be in a wide variety of mate- 
rials, from the wooden salt and pepper grinders of the gourmets to Vic- 
torian condiment sets with their pressed or etched glass and silver con- 
tainers for salt, pepper, paprika, red pepper, mustard, and vinegar. At a 
large table a salt and pepper for each two guests is convenient. Little open 
dishes may be used, glass or crystal, even ceramic or pottery. They should 
be freshly filled, and unless there are individual salts and peppers for each 
guest little spoons are needed. It is well to remember that any salt cellar 
with a silver top must have the top removed and the threading washed 
completely free of salt after each use or the threading will corrode and the 
diner will get much more salt than he bargains fori 


The informal diner expects to smoke at table if he is a smoker at all. 
Individual ash trays are best, but one larger one for each two guests is 
acceptable, too. Cigarettes may be on the ash trays or in any gay little 
container, such as an antique handleless teacup or a small, squat pottery or 
porcelain vase. Silver boxes are also used on informal tables, but there should 
be more than one and those used should match. 

When carving of meat is done at the table the carving set with the sharp- 
ener is placed to the right of the carver above the place setting, so that 
when the roast is brought in the implements will be to the right of the 

When the hostess is to serve there are hot-plate mats, if necessary, in 
front of her place and to her right are arranged serving forks and spoons 
needed, the fork nested in the spoon. Silver (or china or glass) ladles for 
sauces are in the sauce when it is served, and the bowl or boat is on a serv- 
ing plate. When jellies or condiments are in place on the table, to be passed, 
the spoon or fork for them is next to them on the table and is placed in 
them by the first person taking up the dish. 

Wines at an informal meal are usually very simple at most two, perhaps 
sherry with the soup and one dinner wine throughout the meal. Wine glasses 
are placed in order of use. The sherry glass is above the knives, the wine 
glass to its right in a variety of positions (illustrated). Sometimes the sherry 
glass is removed with the soup, sometimes it stays until dessert. At an in- 
formal table the dinner wine glass remains throughout. Sometimes, depend- 
ing on the menu, beer replaces wine. It may follow sherry, but no sweet wine 
or liqueur should follow it. It is served in tall, cone-shaped beer glasses, in 
mugs, steins, or any tall glass. 

Sometimes demitasses are served at the table by the hostess or even hot 
tea, after the meal, at the table. The spoons are on the saucers, to the right 
of each cup handle. 


The centerpiece for a formal luncheon may be flowers, a ceramic or crystal 
piece, or, perhaps on a modern table, driftwood or coral or any other 
decorative objects that express the taste of the hostess. Candles are not 
used, unless in winter illumination is needed in the room then the curtains 
are drawn and the candles lighted. 

The table may be bare (small round straw mats not showing beneath 
the place plates), but, of course, the table surface must be flawless. The 
napkins for a formal luncheon are usually white, often initialed, medium in 
size. They are to the left of the (not more than three) forks. They are 
damask, linen, grass linen, or on a modern table even some of the newer 
combinations, such as handkerchief linen with organdy bands inserted, or 
some of the rayon, metallic mixtures. Luncheon cloths that do not overhang 
the table, sometimes lace inserted or embroidered, are used without a silence 


formal luncheon setting First course: Crabmeat cocktail in supreme glass 
is in place as guests are seated. Seafood fork is placed in one of three ac- 
cepted ways, to the right of knives and parallel to them. The iced-tea spoon 
above the service plate may be placed to the right of the knives (see below). 
The salad knife, optional, depends on the type of salad and whether cheese 
is served (see text). Napkins are to left of forks. 

Second course: At formal luncheon of four courses the salad is served with 
entree, here creamed chicken and mushrooms with border of pureed peas 
in a ramekin. Salad may be served in place of dessert. The iced-tea spoon is 
at right of knives (but see above). Dessert silver is brought on dessert plates 
(illustration of dessert service). 

cloth, but mats are preferred by many. A damask cloth is not used at even 
a formal luncheon in a private home. 

The silver must be sterling, the china and glass of the best quality. 
Since everything is served, the silver on the table consists only of that which 
each guest requires for the menu, plus salts and peppers in silver, silver-and- 
crystal, or porcelain for each two guests. (See illustrated placement of these 
at formal dinner. ) 

If soup is served the soup spoon is at the right of the knife or knives (not 
more than two). If it is to be the less usual four-course luncheon, with 
the soup followed by an egg dish or fish, there is a small knife to the left 
of the spoon and next to it the larger knife for the main course. If it is a 
three-course meal beginning with an appetizer, the soup spoon is, of course, 
omitted. On the left of the plate go the necessary forks, not more than three, 
appetizer fork, meat fork, salad fork, with the one to be used last on the 
inside. The exception is the oyster fork, which usually goes on the knife side, 
either parallel to the knives at farthest right or slanting over with the tines 
upright and in the bowl of the spoon. Forks and spoons for dessert a -e not 
included on a formal table but are brought in with the dessert. 

Butter plates are used on a formal luncheon table in the usual place 
(illustrated), with the butter knives in any one of the three accepted posi- 
tions (illustrated). There are rarely more than two wines, often only one, 
and glasses for each wine may either match or just go well together for the 
two wines. 

If the hostess wishes, individual ceramic or silver ash trays with their 
complement of cigarettes and matches (see illustration for formal dinner) are 
at each place, or cigarettes may be passed at the end of the salad course or at 
dessert or later in the living room after service of demitasse. Neat, "dress" 
pipes are now acceptable even in town in mixed company at any time other 
men are smoking cigars. No gentleman would light a pipe in the middle of 
any meal or a cigar, either even though many thoughtless people take the 
table cigarettes now appearing more and more on formal tables as an invita- 
tion to smoke between courses or even while eating. This can never fail 
to offend a hostess whose cuisine makes any claim at all to excellence. 


The silver at a formal dinner must be sterling (gold plate at the White 
House!) placed, as is silver for all other meals except buffet, about one inch 
from the edge of the table, each piece lining up at the base with the one 
next to it. The silver should not be obscured by the place plate. The large 
damask dinner napkin, folded, is on the place plate, no matter how decora- 
tive the latter may be. But the place plate, if it is pictorial, is carefully 
arranged so that the design is toward the diner. 

No butter plates or butter knives appear on a really formal table, as 
breads that are passed are placed directly on the tablecloth. The hard 



formal place setting The dinner napkin is on the service plate as the guest 
is seated. Shown are the usual number of glasses for formal dinner: water, 
sherry (for soup course), red wine for entree, dessert wine. Sometimes there 
is also a white wine for fish instead of sherry, sometimes both. Occasionally 
just champagne is served throughout the meal as the only wine. Note in this 
illustration the oyster fork is shown with the other forks, an optional arrange- 
ment, but no more than three forks may be in place at one time. In this case 
the salad fork and knife (if needed) will be put in place when the salad 
course is served. At a really formal dinner there are no ash trays on the 
table. There is no smoking until the service of dessert has been accomplished 
(see text). 

dinner roll is in or on the napkin or to the left of the place plate as the 
guests are seated. It is unbuttered, and no butter is ever passed. 

Silver and settings must be exactly arranged, just as they are for all set- 
tings except the buffet. A crowded table is never attractive, but a crowded 
formal table is impossible to serve. There must be a foot or more between 
each guest, the space accurately measured. But there should never be so 
much space between guests that conversation becomes difficult. At a long 
narrow table with few guests the seating is arranged so that host and 
hostess sit opposite each other at the center of the table with guests grouped 
right and left of each and with the ends of the table unset. 

At a formal dinner all serving is from the kitchen or pantry, so no serving 
implements are on the table. As the guests sit down there is a centerpiece, 
usually of flowers, with four silver candlesticks, one at each corner of an 
imaginary rectangle described about the centerpiece a comfortable distance 
from the place plates. Or there may be one large candelabrum (sometimes 



silver Here the silver is 
arranged for a first course of 
salad, California style. In the 
top illustration note that al- 
though the dinner knife and 
fork are the prescribed 1" 
from the table edge the salad 
silver is paired with them at 
the junction of the handles. 
Below, the more usual ar- 
rangement is seen with the 
handles all lined up evenly 
1" from the table edge. 

wreathed with flowers at the base) with its several branches holding tall, 
lighted white tapers. If the table is large, there may be two candelabra 
spaced carefully equidistant from the centerpiece the long way of the table. 
At each place, in addition to the place plate, the roll, and the napkin, 
is the following silver: knives, to the right, never more than three for 
appetizer, if necessary, fish, and meat or for fish, meat, and salad (if cheese 
is served with it or if the salad is difficult to eat solely with a fork). If 
more than three knives are necessary the additional one is put in place at 
the time the course is served. To the left are the forks, also never more than 
three at a time, one for the appetizer, if any, one for the fish, if needed, one 
for the meat, or the first for the fish, the second for the meat, and the third 
for the salad. If a fourth fork is needed for salad it is placed when the salad 
is served. If there is an oyster fork it is usually placed, not with the forks, but 
on the side with the knives with the tines of the fork placed, upward, across 
the soup spoon or parallel with the knives. With the exception of the 
spoons for soup or melon there are no spoons to the right of the knives, as 
at all settings, except buffet, silver is placed left and right so the diner 
works from the outside in toward the plate in choosing his implements. At 
a formal dinner, coffee is served demitasse and the spoons are in place 
on the saucers to the right of each handle. Dessert spoons with their forks 
are in place, spoon right, fork left, on the dessert plates when they are 



brought in. Sometimes the finger bowl, on a doily or on a finger bowl plate 
or on both, is on the dessert plate, too. Sometimes the finger bowl is pre- 
sented with fruit silver after the dessert. 

On the formal table individual silver or silver-and-crystal salts and pep- 
pers are, pepper first, directly above the place plate or a little below the 
line of the glasses, with one set for each two guests. At a large table larger 
.sets may be used rayed out, pepper above, salt below, from the corners of 
an imaginary rectangle around the centerpiece. Open salts and peppers re- 
quire little sterling, ivory, or mother-of-pearl spoons. Where many sets are 
used on a formal table they need not match but they should be somewhat 
alike not "modern" with Victorian. Mustard pots are not set on a formal 
table but are passed, if needed, on the butler's tray. But I have even seen 
beautiful silver pepper grinders two or more on formal tables, where the 
hostess is one who makes a fetish of freshly ground pepper. 

Formal glassware need not be in matching sets, but all glasses for a par- 
ticular wine should match each other and all glasses chosen should look well 
together. A host might have a set of antique or modern light-green-bowled 
hock glasses for Rhine wine and like to see them used on a formal table 
with the, otherwise preferred, clear glass. Wine glasses may be large or small, 
but many who love wines like to see a generous one for red Burgundy, 
handmaiden of the equally substantial meat course. Beer is not served at 
strictly formal meals. 

Glasses are placed in order of their use above the knives (see illustration) 
in a variety of ways. Each is removed with the course it accompanied with 
the exception of the dessert wine glass, which remains through the fruit and 
demitasse (when these are served to the gentlemen at table). At a formal 
dinner champagne may be the only wine served after the service of sherry 
with the soup. 

On the really formal table there may be no ash trays and cigarettes at 
all during the meal. Or, as is becoming acceptable, in front of each guest 
is a small silver or porcelain ash tray, with two cigarettes laid horizontally 
across the top and a small box or book of matches below. The match box 
may be silver, containing tiny dinner matches, or a plain gold or silver or 
sometimes black packet of book matches may be used, the smaller the 
better. Otherwise, cigarettes and cigars are passed with the coffee. Some- 
times the butler brings cigarettes in silver cigarette boxes and individual 
ash trays on a serving tray with a lighted taper or sometimes a large silver 
lighter and passes them to guests after dessert, lighting each cigarette and 
placing the ash trays to each smoker's right 


A buffet table is always informal in that, from it, guests serve themselves. 
But it can certainly have the aspect of formality when it is spread with 
damask, beautifully decorated with flowers, and sparkling with the finest 
silver, china, and glass. At a presidential reception in a foreign country I saw 


setting the buffet Here a round table, always friendly, is shown with a 
buffet setting for a garden supper. Round tables look best when silver and 
other things in the arrangement radiate from the center. A buffet should not 
be too crowded. Additional serving tables may hold anything else necessary 
if the main table is not large enough. 

such a table with serving platters on one side and footmen ready to serve 
from them and actual place settings for guests opposite. The guests in full 
evening dress ate standing before settings that included glasses for two wines. 
Usually, however, a buffet table is much less elaborate. Instead of places 
being set, the table, opened to its full length, is placed in such a way that 
guests may serve themselves easily. Sometimes the table is against the 
wall. Sometimes it is built up beneath a covering cloth, or cloths, into tiers 
for a smorgasbord. Often a buffet table is bare, or it may have a bright 
linen cloth. Great leeway is permissible in a buffet setting, so long as it is 
not crowded. Large serving dishes are placed so they balance one another. 
Platters are complete with serving spoons and forks. Plates are in stacks 
near the main dishes and napkins are placed, one overlapping the other, in 



any agreeably symmetrical fashion. (Illustrated.) I like to see forks and knives 
(if necessary) arranged in neat rows, forks first, about an inch from the table, 
and I like to avoid any fanciful arrangement of them an arc, for example. A 
pepper grinder and a salt grinder or salt cellar of generous proportions belong 
on a buffet table. Near by are ice water and glasses or cold beer or a con- 
tainer with assorted bottled drinks in cracked ice. Or wine may be passed. It 
is pleasanter to clear all serving and other dishes before bringing on dessert. 
This may be portioned, or guests may serve themselves. Demitasse is 
poured by the hostess or guests may serve themselves from the buffet. 


The words dinner and supper are not interchangeable. Dinner is the main 
meal of the day. In Europe it is always in the middle of the day except 
when there is formal entertaining. The evening meal, following midday 
dinner, is supper or, in England, high tea, a relatively simple meal of 
usually not more than three courses and built, more often than not, around 
a main course of cold sliced meat. 

In America we usually follow the midday dinner plan only on Sunday, 
since it is unusual for an American businessman to return home for his noon 
meal as the European so generally does. Our suppers, therefore, come on 
holidays or Sundays or after dances or other special evening entertainment 
or after an afternoon wedding. A supper table is set as for informal dinner 
with whatever silver is indicated by the menu. Buffet meals served in the 
evening are always referred to as suppers, never dinners, which are served 




Teaspoons are not put on the table with the fork and knife, unless they 
are to be used in place of bouillon or cream soup spoons or for grapefruit. 
Otherwise they are placed on the saucers of tea and coffee cups on the side 
opposite the cup's handle (always to the right). At breakfast the cups and 
saucers, with their spoons, may be grouped around the coffee at the right 
of the hostess or on the sideboard, English breakfast style, or at the right 
of each place setting. 

After-dinner coffee spoons, like teaspoons, are placed on the saucers 


dessert service Left: The dessert 
service is placed before the 
guest this way: finger bowl (op- 
tional except at formal dinner 
and lunch) on doily (optional) 
and/or small plate, flanked by 
dessert fork and spoon on des- 
sert plate. Below left: Guest re- 
arranges dessert service like this : 
doily and finger bowl (includ- 
ing small plate, if any, see text) 
upper left, fork left and spoon 
right of dessert plate awaiting 
service of dessert. Informally 
demitasse may be served with 
dessert, either from the kitchen 
or poured by the hostess at table 
and passed (see text). 

before the coffee is served, whether at the dinner table, after dessert, or, 
formally, in the living room. 


In the setting of the table the iced tea spoon is placed to the right of 
the knife. As iced tea is usually served without a small service plate beneath 
it many are puzzled as to what to do with the spoon, once the beverage has 
been stirred. When there is no plate beneath the drink the long spoon is left 
in the glass, with the handle held toward the far side with the first and 
second fingers while one drinks. This is an admittedly awkward procedure 
but the only possible one if there is no small service plate. Certainly a wet 



spoon may not be laid on the tablecloth or place mat. The same is true of 
straws, which are left in the glass. 


At an informal meal where there is a cold beverage to be drunk in place of 
water milk, iced tea, iced coffee, or iced chocolate water glasses are not 
always placed on the table, though they should be. At a formal meal, even 
when wines are being served, the water glass is placed at the tip of the 
knife with the wine glass or glasses slightly below and to the right of the 
water glass (see diagram). 

At family meals where there are no guests and service is limited or 
missing completely it is acceptable to omit the water and usual to omit it 
at breakfast if the members of the family do not ordinarily take it at meal 
times. But if guests are present water glasses are in place. The water, 
chilled, may be poured in fact, usually is poured before guests sit down, 
and, if there is service, butler or waitress replenish glasses as needed 
throughout the meal from a pitcher of ice water on the serving table or 
sideboard. Otherwise guests serve themselves from a pitcher on the table, 
or the hostess offers it from a pitcher on the sideboard. 


Hot tea is always gracefully served by the hostess or a woman friend acting 
for her, never by servants, except perhaps at an enormous tea. When tea is 
served informally at the luncheon table it is passed down the table from host- 
ess to guests, not passed on a tray by a servant. Aside from the traditionally 
ceremonial aspects of tea-serving, tea is never poured out, then passed several 
cups at a time, the way coffee may be, because it cools very quickly. Instead 
it is always taken by the guest directly from the hands of the hostess or 
the woman friend or relative acting for her. 

Actually, the only formal service of tea is the service of afternoon tea 
in the living room or elsewhere with due ceremony, eggshell-thin cups, the 
finest silver, and most delicate napery. But why worry about such formality 
when many people would enjoy tea at other than four or five o'clock and 
without the kind of preparation that makes tea-drinking a special and some- 
times troublesome occasion. Tea may be served informally at any time of 
the day or night, so long as it is served hot, if it's supposed to be hot, and 
made properly with actively boiling water so it will not be the poor apology 
for a beverage it so often is in this country (see "How to Make Tea"). 

After formal luncheons and how few and far between they are demi- 
tasse in the living room, as after formal dinner, is the stiffly correct pro- 
cedure. But the lessened formality of coffee at the table, with large cups 
for any who wish them, is much more popular, and among ardent tea 
drinkers tea with luncheon, formal or not, is a requirement (both tea and 
coffee may be offered at informal meals). 


service OF demitasse After-dinner coffee, unlike tea, may be poured by butler 
or waitress. After informal dinners when the guests take coffee in the dining 
room, if the hostess prefers it may be poured in the kitchen or at the side- 
board and, with several of the demitasses on a serving tray (no tray cloth), 
be passed on the left of each guest. The sugar and creamer are on the tray 
and the servant may ask, "Sugar or cream, madam?" or else present the tray 
and permit each guest to add sugar or cream as he wishes. Sometimes, with a 
very experienced staff, the butler stands behind and to the left of the guest 
and pours the coffee into the demitasse (three-quarters full, only), then 
presents the freshly filled cup on the tray with the cream and sugar. At small 
dinners the hostess may pour the coffee at her place and the guests or the 
servant may pass it. 

At formal dinners the coffee is served in the living room, with the hostess 
often pouring at a coffee table and passing the cups to women guests within 
reach, the others coming to her for theirs. A butler or second man or waitress 
or both, in highly formal households, may serve the after-dinner coffee in 
the living room, however. If two work as a team, the butler bears the 
coffee in its small pot on a tray with the cream and sugar (always lump or 
coarse crystals) and, standing before each guest, pours the coffee into a cup 
on the tray borne by his assistant and then holds his serving tray so the guest 
may help himself to sugar and cream. 

If one servant is to do the serving, the cups only a few at a time- 
are on a bare serving tray with the sugar and cream. The coffee pot is held 
in the right hand. The servant pours the coffee, then presents the tray for 
the guest to serve himself from it. Occasionally, filled cups are brought in on 
a tray from the kitchen, but this gives the coffee a chance to cool, and 
if service is limited it is preferable for the hostess to pour, whether or not 
a servant remains to pass the cups. 

candy at the table At a formally set table that is long enough, bonbon dishes 
may be placed between the candelabra and the end of the table place set- 
tings, but they are not essential. Candy may be passed after the dessert or 
with the coffee, usually informally around the table after it has been brought 
in and placed on the table. It may be formally presented, of course, too. It 
should not be nibbled by the guests before dessert time, by the way, though 
salted nuts, of course, are. 

At holiday tables decorated for special occasions nuts and candies are 
often in little party favors at each place, especially at a family affair where 
there is a mixed group of children (who feel cheated without something 
of the kind) and adults. Little paper boxes or b